'Safety concerns' may force closing of Martin County high school this year

July 31, 2013 

C. ALUKA BERRY — The State/MCT

The superintendent of Martin County schools is making plans to close a high school and move students to other buildings due to "safety concerns," according to a news release.

The Martin County Board of Education is beginning to reconfigure its schools to accommodate students from Sheldon Clark High School, Martin County Superintendent Steven Meadows said in the news release.

"To ensure our schools and our faculty and staff are ready to receive students, the start date for our new school year may be pushed back approximately one week," he said.

The first day of school was set for Aug. 7.

WYMT-TV reported Monday that board members worried that nearby construction was making cracks in the school's walls and floors worse.

School board member Gary Ball told WYMT-TV that an engineering report cautioned that "if you had a significant seismic wind or blast event, the school could possibly collapse."

Inez Middle School will be designated for grades 9 through 12, and Warfield Middle School will be designated for grades 6 through 8, according to the news release. Younger students will not be moved.

Sheldon Clark is the only high school in the county. There are three elementary schools and two middle schools, according to the school district's website.

A special meeting of the Martin County Board of Education will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Inez Middle School gym.

The plan is contingent on approval from the school board.

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