Neenah School District addresses concerns over Shattuck Middle School

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Neenah Joins School District is addressing concerns, after a large chunk of ceiling fell at Shattuck Middle School. After the incident in December, parents raised concerned about the building's safety. More than a month later, the district is reassuring parents the school is safe.

The auditorium at Shattuck Middle School in Neenah remains closed. It was more than a month ago, on December 18th, when a large chunk of ceiling plaster fell -- without warning.

According to Jim Strick, Communications Manager for the district, It was a piece that was covered up by a previous renovation, so our engineers and architects had no idea that this was even deteriorating or that it was even there, so it was really kind of a scary situation."

While no one was hurt, it was an eye-opening incident for school officials. Strick says, "What other things are covered up that we don't know about in this building, that are there that are falling apart that we're not aware of? So it's brought some attention to looking for some of those other things that we can't even see."

Shattuck Middle School is more than 90-years old, and it's been renovated almost a half dozen times over the years. Despite other cosmetic issues throughout the building, the district says there is no concern for students safety.

"We're very comfortable that the building is safe and that kids will be able to go to school and not have to worry about these types of things," says Strick.

While just a coincidence, the building issues at Shattuck come as taxpayers in the Neenah School District are being asked to approve a multi-million dollar school referendum. Strick adds, "It brings to light, why Shattuck is the centerpiece of the referendum because it is the building that is in the roughest shape and we do encounter these issues regularly."

The issues don't pose an immediate risk to staff and student safety, but the patchwork repairs force district maintenance to be more reactive than proactive.