Schools Found Hazardous
Thirteen public school buildings in Connecticut, housing 2,149 children, were found to be “a serious fire hazard, probably not suited to real improvement,” following a state-wide inspection by the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Seven buildings, housing 307 pupils, should be abandoned outright, the inspectors recommended. The buildings were among 222 schools 50 years old and over which were inspected in 85 towns for fire, accident and sanitary hazards.
The survey was supervised by John E. Nichols, Supervisor of School Buildings and Plans for the Department. The report outlined criticisms of various school buildings 50 years old and over and of two-story wooden frame buildings, regardless of age, such as poor sanitation, accident hazards, poor fire protection, poor design and construction. poor exit facilities and improper wiring.
Among the findings of the survey, the Department reported, were these:
Twenty-one buildings, housing 1,652 children, were regarded by inspectors as unfit for use in their present condition and in need of major repairs.
One hundred and thirteen schools were found to have inadequate or defective fire alarm systems, many of them not conforming to existing state laws. One hundred and thirty-four buildings examined contained serious falling or stumbling hazards.
One hundred and twenty-six buildings had low resistance to the spread of fire and gases. Fifty-two buildings still have in-opening doors despite longstanding laws prohibiting them. The 222 buildings inspected house about 44,487 children. There are approximately 1,000 public school buildings in the state. Semi-private schools were not included in the survey.
Supervisor Nichols, in his report, said that although some education boards were not informed or were apathetic relative to the physical aspects of the buildings in their care, many boards were aware of unsatisfactory conditions but were hampered by budgetary limitations in any effort to correct them.