Town seeks to avoid fining school that failed third inspection

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SHALLOTTE—A private school operating temporarily in a local church has failed its town fire inspections three times, according to the fire marshal, who has sent the school and the church a final violation notice.

Now, the fire marshal is working with the church and the school to make sure they pass the next inspection in 21 days.

The Academy of Coastal Carolina and Calvary Baptist Church, on Village Road, have until March 11 to fix the violations or face immediate evacuation and penalty fees, according to a letter sent to both the owner of the building—the church—and the occupant—The Academy.

“As the owner, operator, occupant of the building or premises, you shall abate or cause to be abated or corrected such unsafe conditions by repair, rehabilitation, demolition or other approved corrected actions,” the letter states.

Violations include lack of fire exit signs, fire doors and fire alarms, according to fire marshal Andy Thompson.

Thompson and town administrator Paul Sabiston met with representatives from the church Tuesday, they told town aldermen at a meeting Tuesday evening. Representatives are on their way toward making all the needed corrections.

Sabiston and Thompson said the school has corrected some of the violations, but the major ones involving adding more doors and thicker walls have not been completed.

Mayor Gerald Long and the aldermen asked if the owners/operators were making a good faith effort, could the deadline be extended. Sabiston said yes.

Thompson agreed but added if they started work immediately, things would move along quickly.

He also said he would be on site nearly every day making sure the needed work was being done and helping with whatever he could.

If the violations are not corrected, either the owner or the operator, whichever was responsible for each individual matter, would be fined $100 per violation.

In other business Tuesday, aldermen voted to allocate $4,684 plus labor to allow ATMC to install wiring for the phone/computer system at the Shallotte Central Fire Station now under construction, and $936.68 in material cost for an irrigation system town staff will install.