Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

June 15, 2013

Close call

Inspection shows school bleachers were unsafe

Thanks to a routine inspection, what could well have been a major disaster has been averted at Westmar Middle School’s football field.

It was revealed at last week’s Allegany County Board of Education meeting that the inspection found the potential for a “mass foundation failure.” In other words, the bleachers might have collapsed if the problem went uncorrected.

We hate to imagine the harm that could have occurred had the bleachers given way when a crowd was watching action on the football field.

Vince Montana, the school system’s director facilities, told the board: “We noticed considerable erosion around the concrete piers that support the steel beams that support the bleachers.”

Once the problem was uncovered, the bleachers were closed. An inspection was conducted by the structural engineering firm of Regan-Matonak and Associates, based in Hagerstown. Subsequently, school officials decided the bleachers will have to be removed and portable bleachers will be purchased in sufficient numbers to accommodate the entire student body.

Montana said the cost to repair the bleachers, which would include dismantling the old stands and digging new footings, would be higher than that of purchasing new bleachers.

Discovery of the bleacher safety issue underscores the importance of routine inspections of school facilities. Montana and his staff are to be commended for paying attention to detail and carrying out inspections on a regular basis.

In the case of Westmar Middle School, the action may well have averted injury — or worse.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Life-saving law Life-saving law

    Not many pieces of legislation to come out of Annapolis can be described as a matter of life or death. But the CPR law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley is just that.
    Known as Brenna’s Law, the legislation requires that all Maryland high schoolers will be required to complete CPR training as part of the graduation requirement.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wildfires Wildfires

    The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Support the March for Babies May 3 at Canal Place

    At the March of Dimes, we promise to work tirelessly toward the day when all babies are born healthy.
    The March of Dimes has worked for more than 75 years to help babies get a healthy start in life.

    April 20, 2014

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo