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Thief River Falls high school closed for structural deficiency; crack in wall

GRAND FORKS -- Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls will again be closed to students today because of concerns over a significant crack in a wall that separates a hallway and a classroom, Superintendent Laine Larson said Monday.

Larson said staff noticed the crack in the school's 1938 building early last week, and on Wednesday, a partition was set up around the area for safety reasons. Between Wednesday and Friday, she said, the crack got worse. School was closed Monday.

Jon Aamodt, a structural and forensic engineer with Northland Consulting Engineers of Duluth, inspected the wall Monday.

"Right now, it just doesn't look like there's going to be structural damage to the building at all," Larson said, adding that moisture possibly caused the crack.

Aamodt said the roughly three-foot-long crack is in plaster between a concrete beam and a clay-tile wall that's not load-bearing. He said "selective demolition" of plaster is being done to make sure the beams within the wall are sound.

Larson said staff will return to the school today and, to allow for continued monitoring of the crack, students will resume classes Wednesday.