The Fine Arts Building on the Houston School District campus was deemed "structurally unsound" in 2008.

The Houston School District will no longer allow use of the Fine Arts Building on its campus after an engineering report issued Friday says that it is structurally unsound without renovations.

The conclusions are contained in a 13-page report released by Pinnacle Design Consultants, a Springfield firm hired to examine the safety of the 1921-constructed building that once housed the community’s high school.

Ronald Hamme said a review found framing issues that were inadequate for loading conditions in some areas of the building.

“The report essentially establishes that, short of renovations to reinforce substantial amount of the building framing, the building is unusable for student purposes,” said Dr. Dan Vandiver, superintendent.

In his report, Hamme said he also found foundation settling issues.

Vandiver said the district will no longer use the building and has advised two community groups that its auditorium will no longer be available for public use.

The district called for the report to determine the safety of the building. An earlier plan to construct a new high school as part of a multi-part construction effort called for the structure to be dismantled. Voters earlier this year narrowly defeated the issue.

The district continues to study its building needs, Vandiver said Tuesday following a meeting of the board of education the previous evening. Vandiver said he’ll soon meet with teachers to gain their input before deciding a course of action. The district also may open the process to other architectural firms, he said.

The earlier plan, which required no increase in the school levy, was a $3.5 million bond issue. It required 54.17 percent for passage; it received 57.04 percent. The measure called for a new library, computer and science labs, as well as additional classrooms at the site of the Fine Arts Building. Replacement of bleachers at Hiett Gymnasium also was planned. The only public opposition that surfaced revolved around the destruction of the building.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply