By Elizabeth F. McNamara
East Greenwich, R.I. – After spending most of the day at Eldredge Elementary, structural engineers told school officials Wednesday the main part of the building was safe following a partial ceiling collapse in the school gym Tuesday.
“The engineering group came back and said we were cleared to be in the building,” said Supt. Victor Mercurio Wednesday evening. “We’re still looking at the root causes of the actual ceiling collapse itself.”
“The gym is off-limits, potentially through the rest of the school year,” he said. The classrooms above the gym have been deemed safe, he said.
Mercurio said he also submitted a waiver to the state Department of Education to ask if Eldredge could end the school year with the rest of the schools on June 22. He said he should have an answer in a couple of weeks.
Tests of air quality came back negative for any problems, Mercurio said.
“We dodged what could have been a very catastrophic event,” he said. “Now it’s just a question what the extent is what the repair is for that facility, but it’s going to be extensive. There’s no question about that.”
Here are a couple of pictures of Eldredge from the year it was built, in 1927, courtesy of Alan Clarke.