Demolition Planned For Tulsa School Destroyed By Fire

Tuesday, October 2nd 2012, 7:15 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa Public Schools has hired a demolition company to remove the rubble of the Barnard school building that was destroyed in a fire.

The same company that demolished the Camelot hotel will clear the site of the Barnard school. The work starts next Monday with asbestos removal - the actual demolition a week after that - and the whole thing will take about 30 days.

There's not much left on the inside of the Barnard school building. The fire took care of that.

What's left now is mainly unstable brick walls, especially on the east side, where the fire started. There the inside was so gutted, you can see right through the building.

On the other end - more is standing - but it's all unstable and is going to be demolished. Warning signs and security guards are posted to keep people out.

"It's important because you've got very unsound structural elements over there, and people are trying to sneak in, even though we've got security, people try to get in and could get hurt," said Bob LaBass, Tulsa Public Schools.

9/19/2012 Related Story: Three Firefighters Injured In Tulsa School Explosion Talk About Their Experience

The fire last month was raging when firefighters arrived. An investigation traced the start of it to construction workers cutting through old wood to make room for a new vent.

The fire smoldering all night.

Just as firefighters went inside - a room exploded, injuring 8 men, several with serious burns - all of whom are now out of the hospital.

What's left at Barnard is unsteady and filled with asbestos, so the cleanup is complicated.

Some of what's left standing will be saved, but what's going to happen with it hasn't been decided. 

"We will be looking at those, we've already talked to the Tulsa Historical Society about taking some of the front entrance, and some of the decorative concrete, it kind of depends on what we end up doing out there," LaBass said.

Once the site is cleared, the school board will have to decide what to do next - either hold on to the property or put it up for sale.