Muncie school fails building commission inspection, pushing back start date

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MUNCIE, Ind. (August 7, 2015) - A Muncie area school has failed a mandatory city inspection, preventing the school from opening on time next week.

Delaware Christian Academy was inspected by the Muncie Building Commissioner this week. The school has two other locations, but planned to move into the old Riley Elementary School building this year because of a growing student population. The school has been in existence for three years and this year, they plan to have more than 100 students. Principal, Steve Smith said they wanted to move to the heart of Muncie, hoping to provide students with a different opportunity for learning.

The building was most recently used as a flea market and restaurant. The school applied for a building code change and an inspection was required.

"After we got ready, we called the inspection to come in and see what we needed to do, make sure it was up to standard and keep the kids safe," Smith said.

Commissioner Craig Nichols said he could not "in good consciousness open the school to anyone." He cited a list of problems, including old boilers, locks on the outside of doors, doors that did not open easily, no running water in the bathrooms, and no strobe lights for fire alarms in any of the schools 15 classrooms.

Smith said the repairs are expensive, but they are already working on many of them.

"They said they would put them on the wall which is not a problem, they would drill through them. Our goal is to have all that up by Monday," Smith said.

Each alarm would cost $100, meaning a total of more than $1,500 on that fix, alone.

After a state inspection, one boiler was said to be in good condition. A second boiler will have to be replaced. Smith said they would bring in a boiler from one of the other school locations to replace the existing one that is not up to code.

Smith said the water in the bathroom is running and working, it just needed to be turned on.

Workers spent Friday replacing doors and locks, another problem listed in the inspection.

After necessary changes are made, the school will need to pass another inspection.

The start date has been pushed back to August 19. Smith said if the school does not pass another inspection, or if the problems cannot be fixed by then, they have backup plans, including continue to use one of the schools two other facilities outside of city limits.

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