Schools Evacuated As Wall Separates From Building

photo (64)Sasha Von Oldershausen East 12th Street.

Class was dismissed early today at East Side Community High School and Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School due to structural issues with the school building.

The schools, co-located at 420 East 12th Street, were evacuated, and entrances on East 11th and 12th Streets were cordoned off by police tape.

Marge Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, told The Local, “There was some structural damage to the school so we had to evacuate the building,” adding, “We saw that the east wall was separating from the building.”

photo (63)Sasha Von Oldershausen Children were let out early.

An administrator from Girls Prep taped flyers to the gate on East 11th Street, which stated that all students from the middle school would be dismissed from Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School on East Houston Street, where they had been relocated.

Meanwhile, representatives of East Side Community High School handed out a notice from the Principal Mark Federman, indicating that all students must report to P.S. 19, Asher Levy School tomorrow, “and not to East Side.”

Shortly after 4 p.m. today, Nancy Gonzalez, whose children attend an afterschool program at East Side Community High School, stood outside the building between First Avenue and Avenue A while representatives from the program told her that all afterschool activities were suspended for the week.

“I just found out that it’s a structural problem with the building,” Ms. Gonzalez said, adding, “That’s kind of concerning for me because this building’s been here forever and if something were to happen…” Department of Buildings records indicate the schoolbuilding dates back to 1923, making it about 90 years old.

Ms. Feinberg could not say whether and when students would be allowed to return to the building. “We have to evaluate the situation and see how long it takes,” said the spokesperson.

Update | 8 p.m. Department of Buildings inspectors are on site. Mary Help of Christians, which is adjacent the damaged wall on East 12th Street, has also been cordoned off.