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Congers Elementary School Declared Unsafe, Will Not Open

Large cracks in the school's wall could lead to collapse, according to engineers.

Left: Congers Elementary. Right: cracks in the wall deemed 'unsafe.' Credit: Robin Traum/Patch
Left: Congers Elementary. Right: cracks in the wall deemed 'unsafe.' Credit: Robin Traum/Patch

Congers Elementary School has been shuttered due to unsafe conditions, and local youngsters will have to attend class elsewhere next month when the academic year kicks off, according to Clarkstown School District Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton.

Morton said engineers examining Congers Elementary School determined Wednesday night that the building is too dangerous to open for the start of school. The engineers found large cracks in the back wall of the school, Morton explained, and raised concerns that a strong wind at a certain angle could cause the wall to buckle and school to collapse. 

The cinderblock wall is part of the building that houses the gym, and is next to the outdoor playground. Police tape is currently cordoning off the structure.

On Thursday afternoon, Morton noted the district is working on other locations for Congers students to attend classes when school begins on Sept. 9.

“We’re looking for alternatives right now,” he said. “We’ve been looking at potential facilities all through the county and coming up short. We’re looking at housing them in our district and splitting them up in other schools.” 

Morton said cracks were found in the back wall on July 1 had been repaired, but reappeared in mid-August. The district is notifying teachers that the school has been closed. 

Morton added that the district’s primary concern is the safety of students and staff, and noted no one is permitted in the building. He is working on a letter notifying parents that he hopes will be distributed later today or early Friday, Morton told Patch. 

Jimmy R September 01, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Here's more information about the upcoming meeting for Congers elementary - - - https://www.facebook.com/notes/clarkstown-what-they-dont-want-you-to-know/congers-elementary-school-closure-important-meeting/158104447723041
Shojib Ashrafi Na Ashrafi September 01, 2013 at 10:31 PM
However, I must agree with Peter, the most crucial part of a backup is the restoration. No matter how nice and easy or fun the backup process of any tool is, if the restoration part of it is difficult and/or buggy, it’s a big bust.
Robert Ward Kurkela September 02, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Here is the new blog by Phil Leiter: http://pleiter.blogspot.com/2013/09/as-congers-goes-so-goes-ccsd.html
Sandy Knapp September 03, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I was born and raised in Congers and lived there from 1947-1995. When I was in kindergarten, they determined that the old wooden elementary school was not safe for the kindergarten class and we had to take a bus to Street School in New City. However, when we went into the 1st grade we were back in the wooden school. Was in that school building until the middle of 5th grade when the construction of the new elementary school was built around the former high school. From what I've read on the Congers Group Facebook pages and in the Rockland Journal News, the parents are more upset about the timing of the decision.....a week before school was to open. Suppose a family had a child in different grades. They could potentially go to 3 different schools. We are not talking teenagers, we are talking about K-5. I know the parents are concerned for the safety of their children and want what is best for them. However, a decision to not open the school a week before it starts does not leave the parents a lot of time to make arrangements for their children (before and after school's start time and at the end of day). Do all 3 schools (Lakewood, New City, and Laurel Plains) start and end at the same times of the day? That's where I think the real concern lies.
Roadrunner September 03, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I think all elementary schools in Clarkstown dismiss at the same time regardless of the elementary school. The kids going to different schools because of their grade may have a different bus pick up and drop off time which may effect some working parents.

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