Two firefighters will staff Loudon High if problem not fixed


Loudon High School will open for classes Wednesday, although the state fire marshal’s office is still not satisfied that the building meets fire codes.

“We have not got everything done that they wanted done,” Loudon County school superintendent Edward Headlee.

The problem is with the fire alarm system, he explained. The shut off switches for heating and cooling units still are not working correctly.

The fire marshal’s office will return to re-inspect the fire alarm system the first of next week. If at that time the system is still not working correctly, the school will have to post a fire watch.

“We will have to have two licensed firefighters on the premises at all times until the system passes the test,” Headlee said.

Teachers were allowed access to the building today at noon to begin preparing their rooms, he added.

Loudon High has failed several fire and safety inspections this summer. Classes at the high school were originally scheduled to begin Aug. 8 but were delayed until Aug. 13 while work to bring the building up to code was being completed. Classes were delayed a second time until Aug. 15 following a failed inspection last Friday.

More details as they develop online and in Tuesday’s News Sentinel.


Loudon Co. High School up to code, opening Wednesday

The fire marshal re-inspected the school Monday finding the sprinkler system wasn't operational and the fire alarm system needs to be tested again later this week.

August 13, 2007

6 News Reporter

LOUDON (WATE) -- Loudon High School students and staff will begin classes on Wednesday after the state fire marshal determined the school is up to code.

The fire marshal re-inspected the school Monday finding the sprinkler system wasn't operational, the fire alarm system needs to be tested again later this week and wiring is a problem in some areas.

Still, the fire marshal's office says it's safe to open.

"We asked them to do three things: put a fire alarm throughout, a sprinkler system that operates throughout and we asked for compartmentalization," says construction specialist Randal Delbridge. 

Officials at Loudon High School delayed the opening date twice so crews could finish bringing it up to code.

"We could've got things done sooner. Some items that have come up in the last two or three weeks before school started should've been taken care of earlier but for whatever reason didn't. But we want the building safe. We don't want people in an unsafe building," says Director of Schools Edward Headlee. 

"I think when we are done, we will have the safest school in the state of Tennessee," Headlee adds. 

Loudon High was originally going to open on August 8. But the date was pushed back to August 13 and eventually, the 15th.

The fire marshal had to approve all the corrections at the school before it could open. The fire marshal's office says much of the work being done Monday should've been completed last year.

UPDATE: Loudon High School passes muster, will open Wednesday

By: Jake Jost, Investigative Producer

Teachers at Loudon High are finally getting back into their classrooms Monday. The school was originally slated to start classes August 8th but failed an inspection. After an intense week of repairs and changes, the school is now open for teachers.
Wednesday, August 15th, classes will begin for the semester.

Loudon County Director of Schools Edward Headlee told 10 News last week that school officials weren't worried about the delay.

"If we're able to get started next Wednesday, the principal feels good about it, we feel good, we'll be off to a good start," he said.

The system builds extra days into the school calendar, in case of bad weather or sickness. Headlee says he'll ask the state to use those days in this case, so students won't have to make them up.

The delay at Loudon High did not affect the other schools in the system.