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stairs inspection
A closed-off staircase at Montclair High School.
PHOTO COURTESY NATHANIEL WODNICK

Montclair High School’s ongoing staircase project is nearing completion, district officials said.

Two staircases were completed at the start of this school year, but two interior staircases, adjacent to the lobby, are still under construction. Those stairwells are scheduled to have their last inspection on Nov. 5, Interim Superintendent Nathan Parker said.

In September 2018, the staircase facing Park Street partially collapsed on the basement level, shortly after the first day of school. No injuries occurred, but the stairs were closed until they could be inspected.

Following inspections, the  district’s architects found all four staircases were deficient and recommended all be demolished and rebuilt. Further complications arose when traces of asbestos were discovered in the staircase walls, as well.

The closure of the staircase caused disruptions to class schedules and testing schedules.

The school was expected to close on May 20 to begin repairs. But after parents protested, the school remained open until the end of the school year delaying construction.

-Erin Roll