Three Haverhill Schools Suffer Damage From Effects of Freeze

Damage at Pentucket Lake School. (Photograph courtesy of Haverhill Public Schools.)

Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully.

Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully.

School vacation week couldn’t have been better timed as far as school officials are concerned since the recent cold snap resulted in water damage at three schools.

A heating system pipe break at Consentino School brought “significant damage” to the library and adjacent rooms, including elevator controls, computers, books, ceiling lights and carpets. The damage was first discovered by Principal John Mele and brought to the attention of Haverhill Public Schools Facilities Manager Thomas Geary.

“Despite all the efforts by our facility staff in turning up heat, etc., the sprinkler systems which are ‘older’—not the newer, dry feed systems—so the heads just let go as most are in unheated areas,” school Superintendent James F. Scully told WHAV this morning. “The Consentino is a major project now as ceilings and the materials in those older buildings need to be handled properly because of environmental concerns,” he added.

“Hopefully we will be in good shape by Monday as it is now an around the clock effort,” Scully said. “Tom Geary, the facilities manager is doing a super job.”

Scully told school committee members Monday, “Our facility crews and the custodial staff remain there with Servpro.” He also thanked the Haverhill Fire Department for its efforts. The school will remain closed to staff while repairs are made.

Two sprinkler heads also opened at Pentucket Lake School and another at the lobby of Haverhill High School’s Charles C. White Pool.

“The damage is not as extensive as the Consentino but still extensive,” Scully said. Haverhill firefighters responded at both schools since sprinkler head openings trigger fire alarms.

Students are on mid-winter recess. When Consentino students return next Monday, they will find the library closed.

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