Montreal

Students moved after sinkhole develops under elementary school in Valcartier, Que.

The hole, described as four metres wide and almost five metres deep, appeared a week ago under Valcartier Elementary School in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, located 30 kilometres north of Quebec City.

'Pretty big hole' detected last Thursday, tests continue to determine its cause

The hole appeared a week ago under Valcartier Elementary School in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, located 30 kilometres north of Quebec City. (Submitted by Valcartier Elementary School)

A Quebec City-area elementary school is closed after a sinkhole was detected underneath the building last week.

The hole, which is described as four metres wide and almost five metres deep, was found last Thursday under Valcartier Elementary School in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, located 30 kilometres north of Quebec City.

Officials closed the school Friday and classes have now been moved to a community centre across the street.

Stephen Burke, chair of the Central Quebec School Board, said engineers have spent the last week assessing the danger and analysing the hole.

"It's a pretty big hole," Burke said. "It's not something that you would want next to your home."

Valcartier Elementary School was built in 1947. (MRC de La Jacques-Cartier)

It's not yet clear what caused the ground to collapse under the school. Burke said there used to be wells at the location, but they aren't believed to be the cause.

Classes were able to resume Tuesday after an arrangement was worked out with the community centre.

Burke couldn't say when the school will reopen.

The structure was built in 1947 and is listed in Quebec's heritage database.