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How Safe Are Bleachers At High Schools?
Xenia -- Recent bleacher collapsing accidents at high school football stadiums in Ohio are making us take a look at high school stadiums in the Miami Valley to make sure they are up to par.
Within the past two weeks, there have been two reported incidents at high schools in Ohio. Last Friday, the railing collapsed at St. Charles Preparatory School outside of Columbus sending students to the emergency room. And a week before the St. Charles collapse, three Cincinnati-area teens were hurt after a railing broke during a football game being played in Sycamore Township, in Hamilton County.
Out of the several districts we called, Fairborn, Centerville and Xenia Schools say officials hire engineers to come in and inspect the bleachers at least once per year.
Xenia High School bleachers are more than 50 years old and they almost had a scare last year after an engineering report showed the stadium needed repairs.
"We had to close the stands down because what if, what if one child was hurt, I personally couldn't live with that," said Deborah Piotrowski, Superintendent Xenia Schools.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, inspections and repairs should be documented, including the date of the inspection and the signature of the person conducting each inspection. The commission recommends that process to be done at least once every two years.
After the report, the district remolded the bricks that hold the bleachers up and added more beams for stability.
However, because the repairs aren't funded by the state, a lot of times these school districts get in a bind financially.
"The funding to take care of what we had to correct, we did not have that as a school district," said Piotrowski.
Private donors graciously foot the bill for Xenia repairs so now the bleaches are safe and secure for the football season.
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