Entire City Hall to be Checked After Stairwell Area Gives Way

In 2015, a chunk of floor gave way in a third-floor stairwell at Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini offered his congratulations Friday night.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

An engineer will review a closed city hall stairwell, where a piece of the floor gave way last week.

Speaking on WHAV’s Open Mike Show Monday night, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the assessment will cost about $10,000. However, the mayor added, the entire 105-year-old building will be checked.

“We’re going to do a second thing, which is to ask an engineering firm to come in an assess the whole building. We want to fix problems before they happen,” he said.

Despite the age of the building, which previously served the city as Haverhill High School, Fiorentini said City Hall is still in better shape than newer city structures.

“No matter what happens that building is in better shape than the 20-year-old or 15-year-old police station in Haverhill.” A better example, he said, is the Hunking School.

“It says it all about construction techniques that when the Hunking School had to be evacuated, they took people from the Hunking and they took them to the Bartlett School built around 1895.”

An area of the third floor landing on the west side of city hall gave way this week, sending a chunk of slate onto the second story, just missing someone, officials said. A hole now appears in the floor between the second and third stories of the building. Linoleum tiles above the hole had been duct taped for years because of an uneven surface.

Osborne told WHAV the western egress stairwell can not be used until completion of repairs, which would come following an engineer design evaluation. Osborne also said alternative routes have been established from the third floor auditorium access to the second floor egress.