Dorrance Seeks to Stay Ahead of Haverhill School Building Issues; Notes Moody School Problems

(WHAV News file photograph.)

There are no major building problems yet at Haverhill’s William H. Moody School and Haverhill Facilities Director Stephen D. Dorrance wants to stay ahead of issues at the 107-year-old school.

Dorrance told the School Committee last week he has concerns about the state of the windows, roof and heating system at the school, which was last renovated 30 years ago. He told members that, while none of those systems have failed yet, he would like to address their safety and reliability now, before they do. Dorrance reported some of the issues he has noticed.

“The roof is 30 years old. The two lower roofs have been done. The upper roof hasn’t quite failed yet, but I’d like to get ahead of that. It’s certainly at the end of its designed use for life. The windows at Moody are some of the biggest we have in the district. Because of their size, they’re very heavy, the locks that hold them in place are missing on 60 or 70 percent. It gives me great concern,” he said.

Regarding the heating system, Dorrance said it is also 30 years old and is actually made up of five separate boilers—a system that is far from efficient. Dorrance said those issues make it a good candidate for the state’s Accelerated Repair Program which helps pay for needed repairs. He told the Committee he estimates these upgrades and repairs would cost at least $400,000.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini asked if all of these items need replacing or if repairs would be adequate and less expensive. Dorrance agreed to look into that.

Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling also noted the city must move quickly to get in this year’s round of Accelerated Repair money.

“The accelerated repair is due on Tuesday, June 1. It requires a vote of the School Committee and the City Council. The application doesn’t require costing out things. It requires putting in data, what year were the windows built, replaced, what year was the roof put on. It’s a lot of data information,” Pfifferling said.

The Committee agreed to wait for more information before making any decisions.

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