MEMPHIS, Tenn.– While students and teachers weren’t in the Cummings K-8 building Tuesday as class was held at another MSCS school, the News Channel 3 Investigators learned inspectors were planning to be back out at the school building in South Memphis Tuesday.
It was a busy scene Monday as school leaders, the fire department and others rushed to Cummings after the ceiling collapsed.
WREG confirmed Shelby County Construction Code Enforcement was among the agencies that responded. They told us they sent a senior building inspector to the scene.
They also said the collapse took place in an “old auditorium area that had been converted to a classroom and small library” a while back.
As far as how the collapse happened, they said “the nails holding the mesh with plaster ceiling to the bottom of the ceiling joists gave way”, allowing the ceiling to fall in that area.
The inspector was told the ceilings in that area were unique due to the conversion that had taken place and other ceilings in the building weren’t constructed the same way.
Construction Code said there appeared to be “no structural damage to the remainder of the school.” The inspector had school maintenance workers block off the area around and leading to the collapse site.
By way of background, the county Construction Code does not do regular inspections of schools. That’s left to the state and local fire marshals and we have pending public records requests with those agencies.
Construction Code does conduct inspections when work is being done at schools such as additions, new buildings, or renovations. As far as Monday, they said heard about the collapse and responded.
The agency told the News Channel 3 Investigators Cummings has several, open permits with Code for work such as HVAC, electrical as well as an addition to the gym.
We are still waiting to hear from the school district on whether any of that ongoing work might have led to the ceiling collapse.