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Quake damage keeps School Without Walls closed

- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2011

While the District braces for Hurricane Irene, officials said that at least one area school is still reeling from earthquake damage.

School Without Walls, a high school in Northwest, remained closed Friday while crews repair its chimney and bell towers, according to D.C. Public Schools. Students will relocate on Monday to Eastern High School on East Capitol Street in Northeast.

School officials chose the high school near RFK Stadium because it has the space and resources to accommodate the additional students indefinitely and is readily accessible by Metro.

The chimney at School Without Walls is a design element and not functional, so repairs "should be easy to accomplish," DCPS said in a news release. Crews could cover skylights with plywood to do the repairs, yet damage to the bell tower is more complex and requires a crane.

"If all goes well with repairs, the school could open on Monday," DCPS said. "However, severe weather associated with Hurricane Irene this weekend could extend that timeline." Mr. Gray said the school is the only city structure known to have lingering problems from the quake.

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