The Pentucket Regional School District schools will be closed through Friday while snow is removed from the roofs of school buildings.
Pentucket Superintendent of Schools Jeff Mulqueen notified parents of the closure by email.
“A coordinated snow removal effort will be underway to alleviate concerns about the impact of snow on the roofs of schools. The resulting difficulties for students, parents, and staff members are regrettable but unavoidable. Snow accumulations and the results of predicted storms over the next few days would substantially impact safety if action was not taken. The district and towns continue to work collaboratively in the interest of student and staff safety,” Mulqueen wrote.
According to Mulqueen, each roof has a 30 pound per square foot capacity and snow levels are monitored carefully. “Typically, the snow has sufficient time to melt between storms so that the total weight remains within a low range. That has not been the case during the last couple of weeks. Recent snow storms and the storms predicted for the next few days raised my level of concern,” Mulqueen said.
Pentucket Regional schools serve students in Groveland, West Newbury and Merrimac.
Mulqueen added town leaders from each community agreed in a meeting Monday with his assessment of the problem as well as resolving to clear the roofs as quickly as possible. “The District and towns have a highly collaborative relationship that supports clear, effective resolution to issues. We all benefit from this productive relationship. I appreciate my partnership with town officials,” Mulqueen said.
“While we all agreed that the snow needed to be removed as quickly as possible, we also realized that it would take some time today to contact contractors and develop a schedule. The best course of action was to cancel school through the remaining days of this week to implement our strategy,” Mulqueen said.
A plan for Pentucket schools to meet the required 180 days of school before July 1 will need to be developed, according to Mulqueen. “The development of such a plan will require careful planning with the Pentucket Teachers’ Association and our school administrators. I look forward to sharing this information soon with parents and staff members,” Mulqueen said.