Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini reviews restoration efforts at the Albert B. Consentino School.
Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is vowing to “take whatever steps necessary” to reopen the water-ravaged library at Consentino Middle School and is optimistic all classrooms will be open Monday when students are scheduled to return from school vacation.
Fiorentini returned to work Thursday after taking a few days off, during which time a heating system pipe burst and flooded the Consentino’s library and adjacent areas. Fiorentini joined Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully Thursday to survey the damage, in which “about 95 percent of the library was destroyed.” As WHAV reported Tuesday, there was “significant damage” to the library area 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.
“The superintendent and the school maintenance crews are working on this round the clock. There is a 90 percent chance that the classrooms will be open Monday as scheduled, depending upon the results of air quality tests being done later this week,” Fiorentini said.
Cleanup efforts involve the removal of water-damaged building material containing asbestos, used when the Consentino was constructed in 1969. Fiorentini added the library will be rebuilt, but it will “be closed for at least a month”
“We will get through this and we will rebuild that library. We are covered by insurance, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to reopen the school and the library. The school and the school children deserve no less,” Fiorentini said. The mayor noted however insurance is subject to a $25,000 deductible and the city’s insurance premiums will likely be raised. School supporters are chipping in to help with an online Go Fund Me campaign here.
As WHAV also reported, less extensive water damage at two other school buildings following last weekend’s cold spell was reported by Scully to school committee members. Two sprinkler heads opened at Pentucket Lake School and another at the lobby of Haverhill High School’s Charles C. White Pool. Haverhill firefighters responded at both schools since sprinkler head openings trigger fire alarms.
“The damage is not as extensive as the Consentino but still extensive,” Scully said.