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Ceiling collapse at Illinois high school may force students to relocate to shuttered campus in nearby district

Nov. 9, 2023
The Lockport Township school board has approved a plan to move freshmen to the former Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfurt while repairs are made to Lockport Township High School's Central Campus.

First-year students at Lockport Township High School in Lockport, Illinois, will likely be moved to the former Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfurt as officials repair a central campus building where a classroom ceiling collapsed last week.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that freshman students will have to be relocated because repairs are “going to take longer than we thought," Lockport Superintendent Robert McBride says.

The ceiling of a third-floor classroom collapsed overnight Nov. 1. No one was present when the collapse occurred, and no one was injured.

The freshmen building serves about 1,000 students. Central campus students have been attending classes online since the collapse. 

The school board has approved a resolution that would allow freshmen to use the former Lincoln-Way North High School, which closed in 2016, as a temporary alternative site. The schools are nearly 20 miles apart. The plan awaits approval from Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210.

McBride said the school district aims to have students moved to Lincoln-Way North “maybe as early as Monday, hopefully by Wednesday.”

McBride also told the Lockport board that it should consider repairing multiple ceilings throughout the central campus building, which he estimated could take two or three months.

An architectural analysis of the central campus building found other areas in the 114-year-old building that are considered a medium-to-high risk of failure.

The central campus was constructed in 1909 and had major additions, including the area where the ceiling collapsed, in 1930. Another addition was made in 1953.

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