Stratford High School found to be structurally sound after examination

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STRATFORD – Stratford High School is 90 years old and occasionally gets a bit cranky, as was the case Wednesday night. The result: structural concerns that sent students home for the day by-mid morning on Thursday.

A teacher who was working late says there was a loud crashing sound at about 7 p.m. Wednesday. Initially, the teacher assumed there was a car accident outside the building. This morning, though, it was learned the crash came from inside some classrooms. White boards, hanging from the walls had buckled.

The age of the building partially blamed for the trouble.

“Six or eight months ago, there was a steam leak in that area of the building and it warped the boards,” says Maurice McCarthy, Stratford’s director of Public Works, whose team was called to the school this morning to investigate the buckled boards and ceiling tiles in the classrooms that had inexplicably shifted.

Students knew something was up when they were not allowed in certain classrooms.

“I went to my English class this morning and we were probably in there for about 10-15 minutes before they said to go to the auditorium,” said Mark Wright, a Stratford High School junior.

While the students were in the auditorium, still not having been told why they were there, they were startled.

“We were in the auditorium and I noticed the lights were flickering and I got a little nervous,” said Wright.

A light bulb blew in the auditorium.

“It was a pretty loud sound,” said Joseph Corso, Stratford High School principal. “And, because the light bulbs are 50 feet up in the air, it was a bit more alarming to the students.”

Shortly thereafter, students were sent home for the day after an engineering firm that was inspecting the structure could not determine how long it would take to ensure the second floor of the school was safe.

By 11 a.m. the all-clear was received from the engineers, who checked everything from the roof to the crawl spaces beneath the building.

“Their verbal report, on scene, was that possibly there was some slight building settling, but there was nothing of any consequence, no danger,” said McCarthy.

School will be back in session Friday morning.