Ceiling Collapses in Lido Beach During School Renovation
(04/25/2012)

LIDO BEACH, N.Y. — A ceiling that recently collapsed during construction at Long Beach High School in Lido Beach, N.Y., raised questions about the safety of the school under renovations.

The carport overhang ceiling fell to the ground on Good Friday, while construction crews were trying to locate pipes in the ceiling. No one was hurt when the building collapsed, largely because students were on vacation.

The core building was not damaged, but the entire suspended stucco ceiling was removed due to safety concerns.

“The engineers raised concerns about the stability of some of the ceiling that did not come down initially on its own, so on their advice and the advice of architects, we took the remaining ceiling down in a controlled removal,” Superintendent David Weiss said in a letter.

Although the cause of the collapse was not yet known, district spokesperson Terry Gilbert said its old age could be responsible.

“The decision to remove the remainder of the suspended ceiling is an important safety decision that completely removes the possibility of any further issues, since the structures will be gone,” Weiss said. “We will not tolerate any uncertainty with regard to the safety of our students, staff, or anyone who uses the facilities. Safety has to be our first priority.”

The insurance company is still evaluating the cost of damage, Gilbert said.

The collapsed ceiling will not halt the construction and renovation work under way throughout the district, district officials said.

The district is undergoing $100 million worth of bonded construction projects, including $28.7 million worth of renovations at Long Beach High School that includes substantial interior construction, health and safety improvements, and infrastructure upgrades and improved community resources.

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