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Wilmer Hutchins Gets Failing Grades Again

School's Kitchen, Fire Alarms Still Need Work

Wednesday was test day at Wilmer Hutchins High School, but not for the students. For a second day in a row, the school failed fire and health inspections.

Wilmer Hutchins Fire Alarm
Officials had already given the alarm system and the kitchen failing grades on Tuesday, but the fire marshal tested the school's fire alarms again on Wednesday and found that they still were not up to code.

A health inspector found that the kitchen's refrigerator and freezer were working properly, after finding the opposite the day before, but also found that kitchen was still too dirty to be fit for food service.

The storm-damaged school opened Tuesday morning, but without clearance from the fire department, forcing fire officials to patrol the halls and inspect equipment while class was in session.

"We are their smoke detector," Lt. Joel Lavender said. "At this time ... we don't think it's safe that they have children in the school."

The fire department is charging $400 a day for the service, and had threatened to close the school on Thursday if payment had not been made.

The school district paid the fee via a cashier's check and must continue to pay daily patrolling fees until the alarms are fixed.

Meanwhile, with the kitchen shut down, the district continues to make students cold lunches at another school and deliver them in a rented refrigerated truck.

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