Northborough school officials detail damage, ongoing work at Proctor School

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Northborough school officials detail damage, ongoing work at Proctor School
The Proctor School is located at 25 Jefferson Road in Northborough. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – District staff recently provided an update on work to replace the roof at the Fannie E. Proctor School in Northborough.

In this, they went into new detail about damage at the building, also detailing mitigation work done to slow the impacts of ongoing issues.

Town hopes for state funding

The School Committee gave Superintendent Greg Martineau the authority to submit a statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for repairs to the roof, last month. The Board of Selectmen then supported the move on Feb. 28.

Martineau subsequently offered his update in a School Committee meeting on March 2, explaining that a new roof is estimated to cost $1.6 million.

A percentage of that could be covered by an MSBA grant.

“I know we’re doing as best as we can. I just wish there was some way to get it done quicker for the sake of our wallets and the safety and health of our kids and our staff and faculty and everyone working in our buildings,” said School Committee member Kelly Guenette in response.

Mold at Proctor

The faulty roof at Proctor has led to a second instance of mold being detected in the school, Martineau said.

The last issue was in 2017, costing about $220,000 to address.

This time, mold was found on furniture and on other items in classroom and storage areas, according to Assistant Superintendent of Operations Keith Lavoie.

All of the building’s internal classrooms were inspected, as was the building storage room.

Classroom items — ranging from easels to bookcases — were replaced, just as the district purchased dehumidifiers and installed air conditioners.

The facilities team has continued to do spot checks of different areas, Lavoie said.

Downspouts need replacement

Northborough school officials detail damage, ongoing work at Proctor School
The Public Schools of Northborough is seeking to repair a faulty roof at the Proctor School in town. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

Staff additionally inspected all of the downspouts at Proctor.

“All of them needed to be replaced,” Lavoie said.

He showed a photo of one of the downspouts, which was completely separated from the bell that captures water on the building roof.

A prototype replacement was created with PVC pipe.

In total, Lavoie is projecting this work to cost just under $124,000, in addition to the $1.6 million price-tag for the roof.

Martineau said the funds are coming from a combination of grants, the district’s operational budget and town support.

“This is costly, and this is not money that was budgeted in our operational budget,” Martineau said.

Martineau said the district is working with town officials to fund this work.

In the meantime, they’re also waiting for a final determination from the MSBA on their separate funding request.

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