Demolition begins on fire-ravaged school
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Friday, October 12, 2012
10/12/12 at 5:06 AM
Demolition of the fire-ravaged Barnard Elementary School building began Thursday.
It took only two taps from the shovel of a contractor's track hoe to crumble the first brick wall on the east end of the school at 2324 E. 17th St.
"That's a fire-damaged wall," said Bob LaBass, executive director of bond projects for Tulsa Public Schools, who watched as most of the falling bricks were reduced to dust.
Barnard was closed as an elementary school in the spring of 2011 but was newly leased by the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, a charter high school sponsored by Tulsa Public Schools, when the building was gutted in an early morning fire Sept. 5.
After a two-week inquiry, fire investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Tulsa Fire Department determined that the blaze was caused accidentally by construction work that was being done to install a ventilation pipe from a classroom that was going to be used as a chemistry lab.
Arts and Sciences was relocated into a vacant Tulsa school building and quickly resumed classes.
The school district has a contract for as much as $214,000 with DT Specialized Services for the demolition project.
District officials have not determined the future of the Barnard site, but a pallet of bricks and cast stone, including the arch from the 1925-built school's main entrance, will be salvaged and preserved. LaBass said a plan for distributing the bricks has still not been completed.
On Thursday, he added that at the request of local historic preservationists, contractors will be working carefully to try to preserve the stone retaining walls that are woven throughout the multilevel Barnard campus.
Original Print Headline: Demolition begins on former Tulsa school destroyed in fire
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470
DT Specialized Services crews tear down the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences building and former Barnard Elementary School on Thursday after a September fire destroyed the building. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World
David McAfee, president of DT Specialized Services, supervises the demolition of the former school building Thursday. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World