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Beloit school will reopen Thursday

Published On: Oct 09 2012 05:05:57 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 10 2012 08:40:01 PM CDT
BELOIT, Wis. -

A Beloit elementary school will reopen two days after it was evacuated.

One of Robinson Elementary School's gymnasium walls began cracking during construction Tuesday, when crews were working on a new addition behind the school.

Corporate Contractors Inc. was digging to place footing for the addition when the foundation under the gymnasium began to collapse, causing the north gym wall to crack.

Construction was stopped immediately, and the Fire Department responded. The building was evacuated just before 3 p.m., and students were released at their normal time.

No gym classes were going on at the time. No one was hurt.

Independent structural engineers hired by the school said the gym structure is sound after crews worked overnight to reinforce the building.

Classes were canceled Wednesday but will resume Thursday.

The gym area, which also serves as a cafeteria, won't be used until the area is rebuilt.  The district plans to bring in portable classrooms next week to make up for the loss of the space in the gym.  For the time being, students will eat in their classrooms.

Robinson Elementary School is one of the schools undergoing massive renovations funded by a referendum. District officials said the gym will be a construction priority.

"We will not be using the gym," said Melissa Badger, the community relations coordinator for the Beloit School District. "It has been deemed safe, but we want to err on the side of safety, so we will not be using the gym until it's been completely rebuilt as a part of the referendum."

Work will be done on the school when classes are not in session, according to district officials.  Construction on the gym is expected to be completed in four weeks.

About 400 students attend the K-3 school.

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