Settling causes structural issues at Spencer High School - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Settling causes structural issues at Spencer High School

COLUMBUS, GA -

There are cracks on the walls, floors are separated from baseboards, and a staircase has moved a couple of inches down at Spencer High School in Columbus.

These problems are what worry Principal Reginald Griffin.

"Everything from walls to floors in rooms and the auditorium as well as in the gymnasium," said Griffin.

Griffin says the type of soil that Spencer High School was built on in the 1970's has been causing the building to move for years as the ground expands and contracts with rain.

"That's why you see cracks all over the building. That's why you see baseboards that are two and three inches higher than they should be. You see doors are constantly out of adjustment. We have to sand it down," said Griffin.

The principal says experts from the school district say the building is safe for now, but school board members will have to decide what to do about the school

Pat Hugley-Green, the Construction Chair for the board, says trying to fix the problems or rebuilding could be an option even though it's too soon to say for sure.

"If there is a replacement school, I can't imagine that it would be done on that same site if the reports or the studies reveal that the site is actually the problem," said Hugley-Green.

She explains that if they did decide to rebuild, the funds would have to come from a special purpose local option sales tax or SLPOST.

Hugley-Green and Griffin agree the most important thing is making sure the school is safe not just this school year but in the future as well.        

"We just want our kids to have a nice facility to be in, but more importantly we want them to have a structurally safe facility," said Griffin.

The school board met on Monday evening to discuss hiring an engineering firm to help assess the seriousness of the problems at the school.

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