Loudon High to Remain Closed

Loudon, Loudon County (WVLT) - Closed due to code violations, Loudon High School gets yet another failing inspection Friday from the State Fire Marshal's office.

WVLT Volunteer TV’s Stephen McLamb was there to find out if they will be able to start school on Wednesday as planned.

They’re planning on it. Inspectors will be back but if given the all clear teachers will have short notice and have to be ready to go.

State Fire Marshal inspectors were back at Loudon High School for a second time checking to see if code violations had been addressed. At the end of the day, another failing grade so they'll be back.

"We're going to come back Monday and re-inspect. Hopefully at that time we'll be able to give them a passing grade,” says State Fire Marshal Code Enforcement Supervisor Mark Boyd.

The problem, a fire safety issue.

The lack of dampers in some concession stand ductworks which could be a serious problem in case of a fire.

"When the fusible link burns out, the damper closes and seals that wall off and doesn't allow for penetration of smoke or fire,” Boyd explains.

School officials say that repair is on the fast track.

"We did just learn by telephone call that the fire dampers for the concession stand are en route,” Loudon County Director of Schools Edward Headlee says.

Other than some door repairs and a small issue with the fire alarm system, school officials are optimistic Monday's inspection will not be strike three. They had hoped to give teachers two full days of prep.

"But if everything meets our satisfaction Monday morning we can get teachers in here by noon Monday. We're still on schedule to have students start on Wednesday,” Headlee says.

The school's principal says teachers have been preparing as best they can at home and plans to streamline protocol so students can start hitting the books.
"We're not going to have any teacher meetings. We're going to open up the door and say come and get it and I'm going to turn it loose as long as everything is ready to go."

Superintendent Edward Headlee says he expected those dampers to arrive at the school Friday afternoon and be installed Friday.

It's still unclear if the school year will have to be extended or if the days can be absorbed in their snow days.

School officials are planning to ask the state for some leniency.

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