You can mark them tardy.
Officials at IS 201 waited two hours before calling 911 after a wall collapsed into a Dyker Heights classroom on April 20, according to an fire department incident report obtained by this paper.
Two windows came loose from a wall at 11:15 am and came crashing down into a fourth-floor classroom just moments after a teacher rushed kids into the hallway, but the school didn’t call 911 until after 1 pm, the report said.
“FD members were informed the window had collapsed at approximately 1115 hours [11:15 am] and FD units did not receive a response ticket until 1312 hours [1:12 pm],” an incident report from the fire department states.
The school’s principal down-played the two-hour lapse, according to a recording provided by a parent who attended a closed meeting with the school’s parent-teacher association on April 27.
“We evacuated all the classrooms — not just the right side of the building — all of the classrooms into the third auditorium and the fifth floor gym,” principal Robert Ciulla said. “Again, that took time. By the time I did that and turned around, the Fire Department was on scene.”
A Department of Education spokesman ignored a request for comment on the late 911 call, instead replying “students were moved from the room, their parents were immediately contacted, and DOE officials were on site inspecting the damage.”
But parents of kids in that classroom said the school never alerted them either. Of the dozen parents this paper spoke with, none said they got a call from the school after the window caved in on April 20.
School officials weren’t the only ones to drop the ball. The fire department report blamed the contractor, Triton Structural Concrete, which was fixing exterior masonry and replacing windows, for the collapse.
“Our investigation revealed that the fastening straps of most every window under rehab had its supporting straps cut and NO temporary fastenings were in place,” the report states. “The scene in room 407 could have been tragic.”
Nearly 30 classrooms and more than 50 windows were compromised to some extent, according to the report.
“These defects ran the gamut from plaster work covering recent cracks … to numerous cracks around windows to windows literally pulling out from the structure of the walls,” the report states.
A manager at the San Diego-based Triton Structural Concrete declined to comment.
“The incident is under investigation and that’s the only comment we have at this time,” said operations manager Steve Levan.
The company has several contracts with the city, and the Schools Construction Authority alone paid the company more than $6 million for 37 capital improvement projects in 2015, according to the comptroller’s Checkbook NYC data portal.
Triton also replaced sections of Coney Island’s wooden Boardwalk with concrete from 2010 to 2012, according Parks Department officials.
Ciulla told parents that “not one student was in harm’s way on that day April 20,” but a parent whose child was in the classroom just prior to the collapse said the confluence of shoddy construction, a ham-handed emergency response, and refusal to immediately evacuate the building put their kids in serious danger.
“From 11 am to 3 pm, they risked these kids’ lives,” said Maria Mancini, whose son was in the room moments before the collapse.
©2015 Community News Group