Damaged Consentino School Seeks Book Donations

A motivational banner greeted students when they returned to Consentino school from February vacation.

While restoration of the library at the Albert B. Consentino School is underway, volunteers are asking the public to contribute beginning reader books.

Members of the Haverhill Education Association (HEA) is also asking its members to collect books in classrooms throughout the school district. The union is also seeking a grant to purchase new books.

“As many of you know, the Consentino School library was destroyed by water damage over vacation. All of the books in the library were ruined as well. Please consider donating ‘gently used’ books to replace them,” the union asked.

Of particular need are beginner reading chapter books for students in grades one through five. However, book appropriate for grades six through eight are also welcome. “Any books that fit that age spectrum would be appreciated.”

The public may donate books by calling Consentino school at (978) 374-5775 to make arrangements. Money may also be donated at GoFundMe.com.

HEA is also applying to the Massachusetts Teachers Association for a grant to purchase new books. Union officials expressed concern over the amount of grant money available, how long it will take to receive money and have new books delivered.

“We are hoping to act quickly to get the books into the student's hands as quickly as possible.”

Consentino school received significant water damage during a cold spell that took place at the beginning of February vacation week two weeks ago.

“Water poured into the school library and adjacent corridor causing the ceiling system to fail. Asbestos-containing sprayed-on fireproofing located above the ceiling in some areas was saturated, and there was a risk of contamination if it remained in place. In the second floor classroom where the leak occurred, asbestos-containing floor tiles delaminated from the concrete floor and were removed. The elevator system has suffered much damage and is still being assessed.,” James F. Scully, school superintendent said.

Despite turning up heat in anticipation of the cold, Scully said, older detection systems are not capable of detecting such changes with pressure or steam issues. Consentino Principal John Mele discovered damage to the library area, an adjacent elevator and a second-floor classroom.