A construction worker tears down the dorm wall built by “fake cement” at a school in Luyi, Central China’s Henan Province. Photo: screenshot of video by China Youth Daily
Administrators of a village school in Luyi county, Central China’s Henan Province discovered that 25 tons of cement used in the construction of the school’s dormitory scheduled to open in September was of dangerously poor quality.
School personnel noticed the cement while the construction workers were laying the foundation of the student dorm. The school’s headmaster, Zhang Guangqi, said the cement was crunchy and could be crumbled with bare hands, media reported on Wednesday.
“Luckily, we discovered the poor quality cement. It would have been tragic if the students had moved into the new dorm and an accident happened,” Zhang said.
When the new semester begins in September, close to 1,000 students supposed to board in school will have to sleep in their classrooms because of the cement problems, Zhang said.
Officials from the Luyi Zhicheng Experiment School are suing cement producer Pengyuan Construction Materials Limited in Zaozhuang, East China’s Shandong Province for 300,000 yuan ($43,595) after the two sides failed to agree on the compensation, China Youth Daily reported on Wednesday.
Zhang said the school has an enrollment of 1,700 students.
Many of them are so-called “left-behind children,” whose parents have to leave their children at home in the countryside while they work in the city.
To improve the education and living conditions of the students, the school borrowed and raised around 3 million yuan to build a four-story dorm. The construction was scheduled to be completed by July 15.
The 25 tons of poor quality cement was purchased by the school for 9,750 yuan on March 26, the day before construction began. The construction team discovered the cement failed to harden properly and work was halted three days later.
In early April, the school took samples of the cement to a local quality testing firm which said the cement failed tests for strength and pressure resistance.
Zhang said the cement’s Shandong manufacturer also collected samples and their tests showed that the cement was “up to standards.”
The school also filed a complaint with the local market supervision and management bureau, which then transferred the samples to another quality-check body in Bozhou, East China’s Anhui Province.
The quality tests done in Anhui show the cement had just one-third of the required strength and its pressure resistance was far lower than the required minimum.
Angry Chinese netizens called for a thorough investigation of the cement producer, saying it must be punished if it is found to have provided inferior cement for a school building.
Netizens are also concerned that inferior cement had been used undetected in other construction projects.
Newspaper headline: Bad cement used in Central China school dorm, probe urged