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Port Chester School District Provides Update On Middle School Work

A bulldozer and temporary orange fences surround Port Chester Middle School and the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District offices on Tuesday Oct. 31 after a concrete panel collapsed smashing windows at the school on Oct. 26, prompting repairs. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Workers outside the Board of Education and District office entrance of Port Chester Rye Union Free District on Tuesday Oct. 31. Ongoing emergency repairs have kept the offices and Port Chester Middle School closed since Friday. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Contracting crews will be working overtime at the Port Chester Middle School this weekend, as officials are hopeful of opening its doors on Monday after a falling piece of concrete in the building forced it closed.

Port Chester Middle School has been closed since Oct. 27 after a mounting for a decorative concrete panel failed, causing it to fall to the ground and damage a classroom’s window.

Since then, crews have been working extended and double shifts to install equipment that will ensure the safety of returning students and staff, school officials said on Friday. They are also replacing the windows damaged in the incident.

School officials said that contracting crews are in the process of installing vertical supports to shore up 90 similar panels and building safety bridges over exterior entry doors. Fences are also being installed to “keep individuals at a safe distance from the construction area.”

Officials are hopeful that work can be completed over the weekend.

If the building will be opened on Monday, parents will be notified as soon as possible, Port Chester Schools Public Information Officer Caryn Furst noted in a letter to parents. If it is cleared to open on Tuesday, the middle school will be open for classes as a makeup day, though the other schools will be closed as scheduled for teacher professional development.

“This is a significant project whose completion depends on weather, the availability of supplies, and the usual unforeseen construction challenges,” Furst wrote to parents.

“Keep in mind that there are nearly 90 concrete panels with about 6 vertical supports each that must be anchored to a multi-story building, and because this project involves the safety of our children, we demand the highest quality engineering and construction work as we also work with the State Education Department to ensure strict compliance with their engineering and safety specifications.”

An update on the projects construction is expected by 7 p.m. on Sunday night.

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