MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Code enforcement ordered work to stop last week on demolition of an abandoned Memphis City School after the health department demanded everyone off the property.
The county recently released records showing just how dangerous the situation is.
There are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. One thing we do know is the old school is full of asbestos. Despite Memphis City Schools saying no one was supposed to be inside the building, they were.
Red tape now surrounds the old school on Florida Street warning of asbestos contamination. The situation may have been made worse by crews working inside the building removing scrap metal and salvage items.
Records show it was last month when the health department told MCS the building was full of asbestos in the pipes, walls, ceilings, chalkboards and floors. The health department said an asbestos expert should be on site before and during demolition to make sure it was handled properly.
But ABC24 News found workers without protective clothing or masks inside and outside the building, and with no expert around.
Friday everyone was ordered off the property after the health department discovered what was going on.
The inspector couldn't say much because an investigation is underway, but there are questions about how this contractor was allowed to work on the property.
MCS says a demolition contractor was only supposed to be on the property to remove bricks from the outside of the building, they weren't supposed to go inside. Instead we found a different contractor than the city had allowed at the site.
Contractor Cotry Maclin told us, "I was recommended by another guy and they were gonna tear it down and was told it's coming down in a few days; they said I should come talk to someone about it so I did."
Memphis City Schools planned to demolish the school with in-house staffers to save money. But it may end up costing the district thousand of dollars in fines if an investigation finds federal laws were broken.