School officials are investigating why part of the ceiling on a third floor classroom collapsed overnight into Wednesday at Laura Speed Elliott Middle School.

While most classrooms have drop ceilings, the original 100-plus year old plaster is right above. In some cases, it is an inch thick or more.

While there was no water damage, the large pieces that fell could have fallen on children. Because of this, the district is not taking any chances, they have already had an engineer come and inspect the entire building.

“We are thankful it happened overnight. We cannot contribute to what caused it. When they dropped the new ceilings in they had to drill a small hole (in the lathe portion) to hang wire supports for the drop ceiling. There has been some cracking in the plaster,” LSE Principal Fred Smith said. “It is kind of unsettling.”

No class was held in the room in question.

“We have those kids in a safe environment,” he added. “Unfortunately, being part of the old building (circa 1914), some things were hid because of previous renovations.”

District officials said those renovations took place 17 years ago.

Smith is also relieved that while this is a major problem, that it is towards the end of the school year instead of right in the middle of it – making it easier to deal with.