A new report finds a contractor didn’t follow design instructions at a Red Oak elementary school damaged in a December tornado.
After the storm, the district hired an engineering firm to find out why the damage at shields elementary was so extensive. Photos and video taken after the storm showed an entire wall had fallen over. Three classrooms were located on the other side of the long wall.
Earlier this month an engineer contracted by the National Weather Service surveyed the damage and expressed concern over the building's construction.
“When you get there and see the walls have fallen like a house of cards, I'm aghast by it,” said engineer Tim Marshall.
Red Oak ISD then hired a third party engineer to figure out what went wrong.
“I'm very concerned at the information they found,” said Scott Niven, Red Oak ISD superintendent. “What the engineers have told us is the design was correct, it was the installation was where the problem was.”
Niven said they learned the Ratcliff Constructors also improperly secured other walls at the school.
“They cut 12 additional holes at various places and those exterior walls had the same issues that the wall that came down had,” Niven said.
A UT-Arlington structural engineering professor reviewed the report for FOX4 and said the findings concerned him.
"If wall is not well secured, that means any large force can push it over," said Simon Chao, Ph.D., P.E.\Structural Engineer, U.T. Arlington. “This shouldn't happen under any circumstances.”
FOX4 went to the office of Ratcliff Constructors after not getting a call back, but was told the president wasn't there.