Code Violations Keep Loudon High School Closed

Loudon, Loudon County (WVLT) - The first day of school at Loudon High School has been postponed until August 13th.

Right now, the school's shut down, until a long list of code violations are fixed.

As volunteer TV’s Stephen McLamb reports, the state fire marshal's office says the school's the only one out of 600 inspected statewide this year...with serious problems.

Registration was set to begin today for students at Loudon High School but renovations have failed to meet building codes so registration was cancelled after the fire marshal closed the school.

"Some work that the contractors have done did not meet the specifications that the fire marshal had prescribed,” says Gil Luttrell, Assistant Director of Loudon Schools.

That is touching a nerve with some parents.

"Very frustrating,” says Loudon parent Ken Schultz. “The school is open late this year because construction is not done. They opened late last year because of construction problems."

The state code enforcement says the problems are numerous, from doors to windows, to sprinkler systems, to fire alarm issues, but not all issues have been small. It's something State Fire Marshal inspector Mark Boyd doesn't see everyday and he says he inspects many schools.

"It's over 600 and to my knowledge we're not having this trouble with any of the other schools,” says Boyd.

Not only is the construction causing a delay for school, but it's costing the taxpayers extra money.

A tab that's still rising.

"It's a moving target,” admits Luttrell. “Thousands and tens of thousands of dollars."

Luttrell hopes work will be complete, or at least enough to get the building back by August 8th.

"If this stuff is met then we can go to school. If not, then we'll have to go another route,” Boyd says.

Ken Schultz continues to volunteer for the school believing the problem will be resolved either now or later. "If they don't, I'm sure the people will be at the voters box when that does come around."

Luttrell says he hopes school will begin August 13th.

He says those new to the school system can register at Fort Loudon Middle School on August 6th from 8 am to noon. Returning students or students from middle school will register on the first day on August 13th.

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  • by Brooke Location: Lenoir City on Aug 4, 2007 at 10:12 AM
    It's not about floor tiles. If it were, then why was WVLT and WATE not allowed to video inside the building when the fire marshals were ther on Thursday. John Bartlett refused to allow them in. Gill Luttrell is very aware of what is going on at Loudon, and it has nothing to do with the contractors quality of work...they are just doing as instructed. It seems strange that WBIR's camera crew made it in to the school to see what Edward Headlee wanted them to see. The fire marshals have took a beating in the local press for trying to insure our children are safe at school, maybe it's time we start asking questions. When the bridge falls... we will have a lot of questions for them.
  • by Anonymous II Location: Lenoir City on Aug 3, 2007 at 08:20 PM
    As a taxpayer in this county, I would like to know how much this fiasco has cost the taxpayers. This thing has been shoved under the rug long enough. The school board wants to act like this is a little thing that they didn't know it was coming. I have kinda kept up with this thing and done a lot of research into the matter. Being in a position within the system which prevents me from speaking out publicly, I can tell you it is a little more serious than you think, after all I've never heard of a school being closed by the fire marshal due to a few minor violation such as floor tile and walls not being sealed. I was at Loudon High School yesterday when the fire marshals arrived for their inspection. Channel 8 news was denied entrance to the facility by the principal. I really believe that the school system does not want the good folks of Loudon County to hear the fire marshals side of this story. Do they have something to hide?
  • by Anonymous on Aug 3, 2007 at 09:19 AM
    if you would check further down the chain of events you will find out that the contractors doing this job did not bid on it they were ask to take it because of the issues. If the maintenance director and the principal would have done the right things first instead of telling the contractors to do the opposite of the fire marshall then thongs would be done. KEN schultz complains about anything and everything. He is the spokesman for JOHN bartlett and the teachers who are afraid to do anything about Loudon High School because they are afraid of losing their jobs....


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