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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