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Alameda High’s old gym, weight room closed

Submitted by on 1, February 1, 2011 – 1:11 pmOne Comment

The school district has closed the old gymnasium and weight room at Alameda High School to students out of concern for potential seismic safety issues there.

District officials decided on the closure after they realized during a routine internal inspection that they lacked paperwork showing the gym complied with the state’s Field Act, which mandates seismic safety standards for California’s schools, Chief Business Officer Robert Shemwell said. He said the concerns about the gym arose as contractors worked on replacing windows in the district’s adult school nearby.

So far, the district hasn’t uncovered any structural concerns with the building, Shemwell said.

“There are some unanswered questions that we wanted to answer,” he said. “We’re hoping to make a quick determination and get it back open.”

In the meantime, classes that had been held in the old gym are being moved into the school’s new gym or outside. A solution for closure of the weight room, which is used by the school’s athletes, is still being worked out, he said.

A reader alerted The Island to the closures.

The closures follow the district’s abrupt decision on October 15 to shutter its two swim centers, which came after district officials discovered they were out of compliance with state and federal rules mandating drains be covered. The Emma Hood Swim Center reopened on November 1, while the Encinal Swim Center reopened on Friday after contractors completed $20,000 worth of work needed to bring them into compliance with the new rules.

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