DALLAS – A recent ceiling collapse at Thomas Edison Middle Learning Center has students and staff concerned about the building’s safety in the final few months before the school is shut down.
Maintenance workers could be seen moving heavy equipment into the school building on Wednesday. It was one day after the principal issued a letter to parents detailing the issues around a ceiling collapse.
“They got it all blocked off, so we can’t get the visual of it,” explained Lashandra Logan as she arrived on campus to pick up her son.
Parents are voicing concern after only letters came out five days after the incident happened.
According to Dallas ISD, the damage was caused by a fastening that secures the A/C duct work.
“What bothers me is that the teachers have on hazmat masks, but the students do not,” Doneesha Roberts said. “They are protecting themselves, but they are not protecting these students.”
Some of the students were being relocated to other parts of the building while sections of the second and first floors are blocked off for repairs. Parents say the damage is also uncovering other issues like mold and pests.
“Yes, it’s rats. It’s rats everywhere,” student Semaj Tutton said.
Dallas ISD trustee Lew Blackburn touted Edison’s campus Wednesday to get an update on the work.
Blackburn said the district didn’t have an explanation for what led up to the collapse, other than “maybe poor workmanship.”
“So, while we are trying to get it repaired, we are also trying to figure out who is at fault as far as not putting the duct work in, in a secure way,” he said.
Blackburn says workers are inspecting nearby areas and doing air quality tests. He says he wants students and staff to feel safe in the school.
“I’m asking staff to bring on extra people to get it all completed next week,” Blackburn explained. “Not the week after. Not two weeks after. But get it by next week.”
The trustee hopes workers can complete the repairs while students are out of school on spring break.
Back in January, the Dallas ISD School Board members voted to shut down Edison and some other schools due to low performance and declining enrollment. The students from Edison are expected to move to the Pinkston High School campus in the Fall.