School Closings And Delays

School Entrances Blocked Due to Structural Concerns

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WILKES-BARRE -- Orange fencing was already in place, but Wilkes-Barre police added barricades to further block off a large part of Coughlin High School on North Washington Street.

Wilkes-Barre Area's superintendent says it's a result of structural concerns with the century-old building.

"Bad winter, an aging building, and now these issues have reoccurred a little bit, and again, strictly precautionary," said Wilkes-Barre Area School District Superintendent Bernard Prevuznak.

Those issues are gaps between bricks in the walls and cracks in the building's sandstone. Inspectors noticed some problems last week and more over the weekend.

The library and several school entrances are now closed. Students must enter through the annex building and courtyard area.

Jamie Lee's daughter goes to Coughlin. She says she's worried for her safety.

"I asked myself and I asked my husband 'why are they even allowing these kids here because it's completely unsafe?'" said Lee.

"It's going down to pieces. It's a shame. These kids deserve better."

With this structural issue, safety is the main concern, but traffic and congestion have also become a problem with there now being less space on the street for parents and buses to park.

"It's going to get worse though, the traffic, especially in the morning. Parents are rushing in, dropping off their kids, it's just going to get congested," said Joe Mercado of Wilkes-Barre.

The Wilkes-Barre Area superintendent says there's no sign of immediate danger to the students.

The school board will meet Thursday to discuss repairs. There is no word on when repairs may happen or how much it could cost.