West Virginia Elementary School Closes Over Safety Concerns

February 27, 2009

A private elementary school in Jefferson County in West Virginia forced to cancel classes because it doesn’t have fire alarms or sprinklers may soon have company.

Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Amy Jones said Wednesday that her office plans to inspect about 15 day-care centers and schools by summer’s end to ensure compliance with state laws and safety codes.

She said a review of department records indicated some of them may have opened without government review. Others may no longer be in compliance.

The Bolivar Christian Academy failed inspection last Friday despite five previous passing inspections. The school is working to reopen to its 44 students in another church, perhaps as early as Monday. Jones said the alternative site is to be inspected this Friday.

Church member Bob Adams, a father of four with two school-age children attending the school, said he has no safety concerns, but does question whether the school is required to install a sprinkler system. He also questioned whether the health department has jurisdiction over fire safety codes.

Initial estimates show it could cost more than $65,000 to install fire alarms and sprinklers in the school, which he said opened at its current location four years ago.


Information from: The Journal, http://journal-news.net/

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