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Wall crack prompts school closure

THIEF RIVER FALLS - Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls is closed to students today and Tuesday due to concerns over a significant crack in a wall that separates a hallway and a classroom, Superintendent Laine Larson said.

THIEF RIVER FALLS - Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls is closed to students today and Tuesday due to concerns over a significant crack in a wall that separates a hallway and a classroom, Superintendent Laine Larson said.

Larson said staff noticed the crack in the school's 1938 building early last week, and on Wednesday, a partition was set up around the area for safety reasons. Between Wednesday and Friday, she said, the crack got worse.

Jon Aamodt, a structural and forensic engineer with Northland Consulting Engineers of Duluth, came to inspect the wall today.

"Right now, it just doesn't look like there's going to be structural damage to the building at all," Larson said, adding that moisture possibly caused the crack.

Aamodt said the roughly three-foot-long crack is in plaster between a concrete beam and a clay-tile wall that's not load-bearing. He said "selective demolition" of plaster is being done to make sure the beams within the wall are sound.

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Larson said staff will return to the school Tuesday and, to allow for continued monitoring of the crack, students will resume classes Wednesday.

"My whole premise is the safety and security of our children and our staff," she said.

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