The findings from an inspection that occurred yesterday of Taft Middle School’s east dome were provided to Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) today, October 11, 2023. CRCSD responded to the recommendations provided by the engineering and architectural firms. As a precautionary measure, the students and staff were evacuated from the affected area, and CRCSD suspended the use of this space until further notice. The west dome can be occupied at this time. The east dome of Taft Middle School houses the cafeteria, kitchen, and performing arts classrooms.

While this means that we will have to relocate students to other parts of the building, these steps are necessary to ensure that our buildings are structurally sound and provide a safe learning environment for students. We appreciate the understanding and collaboration of the Taft administration, staff, and families. The district is working with Taft administration to ensure the least amount of disruption to student learning,” says Dr. Tawana Grover, CRCSD Superintendent. 

Raker Rhodes Engineering and Solum Lang Architects determined that the structural component of one of the beams on the east dome has been compromised, which poses a concern regarding its structural integrity. The dome design includes 16 load-bearing beams, with considerable weight placed on each of them. Having one compromised beam can significantly impact the entire structural system of the east dome,” says Chris Gates, Building and Grounds Manager.

We appreciate the cooperation of our families.  It is through this partnership that we are able to ensure the utmost well-being and safety of all. Thank you for your continued support,” stated Dr. Tawana Grover, Superintendent.

Taft Middle School and Harding Middle School were both built in 1965 and share the same structural design. The structural engineering firm has determined that the three other domes can be occupied at this time. We will continue to work and seek the firms’ guidance on the domes at Taft and Harding Middle Schools.