Throughout the month of August, WHAV provides a daily report counting down to the first day of school in Greater Haverhill.
Haverhill school administrators are awaiting air-quality and other tests on safety conditions at the Greenleaf School in Bradford. If they come back with passing grades, as Superintendent James F. Scully expects, the dilapidated school will house students, including kindergartners, this fall.
When Haverhill voters in 2014 approved construction of a new Hunking School, the administration promised as part of the project that the Greenleaf School would close and its 200 kindergartners would move to the new Hunking, built to serve kindergarten through eighth grade.
However, Scully said district officials decided to use the building to deal with an influx of students this year.
During the Hunking campaign, school officials pointed out that the Greenleaf needed more than $11 million in repairs and renovations to create conditions appropriate for continued use, including replacing the roof and bringing the structure into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
School Committee President Gail Sullivan, who visited the Greenleaf School last month, said she saw standing water in the basement, peeling paint, friable asbestos tile and a leaking roof.
The water in the basement is the result of water leaking between the fieldstones that were used to build the school’s foundation.
“If you have standing water and leaking roofs, you could have air quality issues,” Sullivan said.
Committee member Paul Magliocchetti noted a second-floor section of carpeting in poor condition.
Scully said a team has gone through the building and crews are working on safety issues. He said a first round of testing has shown there is no mold in the building and that conditions are “consistent with all safety standards and air-quality standards.”
He insists the building is safe.
“I wouldn’t put children in a school that wasn’t safe,” he said.
Scully said a second round of tests will be done when crews are finished with their work.
The superintendent said the repairs are not meant to be long-lasting or solve the school’s structural problems. For example, rather than repairing the school’s failing roof, workers will repair the membrane underneath.
“When we submitted the Hunking project to the state, we said we wouldn’t put millions into the building. These are short-term fixes,” Scully said.
Tentative schedules for Haverhill High School studentswere mailed home in mid-July. The mailings include a memo reviewing the process for requesting schedule changes, if they are needed. There is a chance that some class periods or locations of elective courses will change between now and the start of school. Final schedules will be available closer to the start of school.
Freshman orientation for the Class of 2021 begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, in the HHS gymnasium. Meet the Faculty night is Thursday, Sept. 21, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Haverhill Public Schools open their doors to students in grades 1 through 12 on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Kindergarten begins Sept. 5. All Haverhill students have the day off on Friday, Sept. 1, and on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.
Regional first days are:
Pentucket: Sept. 5
Timberlane: Aug. 31
Tune in tomorrow for more back-to-school information.
After 8:16pm on Monday August 7th, 2017 this article available to WHAV members only.
Published at Tue, 01 Aug 2017 04:16:05 +0000