Workers unsettled when Bristol Warren school administration building settles

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It was business as usual at the Bristol Warren Regional School District administration building on Thursday, after an unsettling start to the day.

Just after 8 a.m., staff heard a loud bang and workers inside the office shared by the human resources and accounting departments noticed that the capped light fixtures in the ceiling had moved from their original location.

“It was a very loud bang,” superintendent of schools, Melinda Thies said, calling it “a startling noise.”

The room was evacuated and the department director of facilities, George Simmons, was called to investigate.

“What happened was the northwest corner of the building settled,” Ms. Thies said on Friday morning. In the basement, she said, “there is a small storage closet where you can see the floor dropped about six inches. When the floor dropped, it put stressors on the building.”

No damage is visible to the building exterior. Structural engineers were called in to assess the damage and consider repair options.

The building, located at 151 State Street, is owned by the town of Bristol. It was built in 1901 and was formerly used as Oliver School.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.