Olympia

Rotten beams, walls force kids out of Olympia elementary school

Rotten beams, walls force kids out of Olympia elementary school
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Jody Wells and Marianne Ozmun are moms on a mission.

They want their daughter Allie to have a special school close to their state government jobs in Olympia. They just didn't expect Madison Elementary to be close to collapsing.

"We were so shocked when we saw the extent of damage in the school," Ozmun said.

Three weeks ago, Madison was prepped for repainting. Instead, workers found rot crumbling from the outside, into the building's walls and support beams.

Parents are bothered that luck uncovered a dangerous problem. Wells said Allie has loved her time at Madison, but registered a small laugh when thinking about the absurdity of the situation.

"She was going there last year and the year before while the walls were deteriorating," Wells said.

School district officials say the building is unsafe for classes, and repairs will take at least five months. Students will be split between local churches and other school sites until January.

"We're still pulling the siding off so we don't yet know the extent of the damage," said Rebecca Japhet with the Olympia School District.

There is also an investigation underway. The district is looking through contracts to figure out who built Madison less than 15 years ago, and there could be legal action down the line.

The district had no details on the total cost for repairs, but there is a contingency emergency fund to take care of problems like this.

School will begin at the new locations September 4.