Students and staff at Rider High School were unable to enjoy a warm lunch or breakfast Thursday. On Wednesday the school kitchen was shut down due to a structural damage to a beam. School district representatives like Ashley Thomas say that the danger if any would be isolated to the kitchen area.
"We are not aware of any situations structurally or at least I'm not aware of any structural issues right now that would deem unsafe for students," said Thomas.
The kitchen is connected to the cafeteria where many students were able to safely eat lunch Thursday. Despite the kitchen not working the district offered cold brown paper bag lunches to those students who otherwise would have had the option to eat something warm.
"Once we realized we were not going to be able to serve hot meals out of the kitchen. They got right on everything yesterday afternoon started preparing sack lunches this morning," said Thomas.
It could be a long time before students enjoy a warm breakfast or lunch. Thomas said there is no strict timetable set for the repairs. The plan is to wait and see what structural engineers advise in a report that will be written over the weekend.
"So now we have some structural engineers who are taking a look at it and going to figure out how we can fix that issue so we can make it safe for our students again," said Thomas.
If the recent school boards, bond would have passed funds would have already been secured to address the unsound beam. A report funded by the district graded Riders structure and foundation as a 63 out of 100. That meant the building and many of its systems were in poor condition and would need major repair, renovation, or total replacement.
"With the proposal that was brought fourth this building would have been turned into a junior high school, but there would have been some renovations done to the school," said Thomas.
Out of all the school district facilities only the elementary school averaged a score that was fair, while all others averaged a score that was poor.