Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 13, 2007

Leak follow-up

Filed under: Hopkinton,Maintenance — Editor @ 2:24 pm

Water emergency ■ Students moved from two classrooms at Ashaway School. By Chris Keegan

The Sun Staff


ASHAWAY – School officials evacuated two second- grade class­rooms at the Ashaway Elementary School on Thursday, after heavy afternoon rain found its way though leaks in the Hillside Avenue facili­ty’s roof.

 Ashaway School Principal Linda Perra said 35 students were moved into the school gymnasium after water began streaming through the ceiling, along a wall and into a classroom in the school’s first-floor wing. It would later spread to other parts of building causing large standing pud­dles in both second grade classrooms. 

Following dismissal, school officials assessed the damage: numerous ceiling tiles were removed to allow water to drip from metal roof reinforcements into garbage cans. Up on the roof, a maintenance employee used a water pump and snow shovel to move several inches of rain off the rooftop ­which is flat and cov­ered with stones.

 Chariho’s Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds Dan Cook said the leak was likely caused by a small, local­ized hole. Maintenance workers would stay through the night to ensure that water did not spread into the rest of the building, he said. “Today qualifies as an emergency situation,” Cook said. “It’s the first time we’ve had a leak of this magnitude in the building.” 

School Committee Chairman William G. Day of Richmond later pledged that the district would do “whatev­er necessary” to address the conditions. Second-grade stu­dents would likely attend classes today in the school library and art classroom as part of a pre-established contingency plan.


The water emergency comes one day after independent con­tractor Richard A. Doyon told The Sun that rips in the roof’s rubber membrane had compro­mised the integrity of the roof. Doyon’s company was recently hired by the town of Hopkinton to repair gutters at the school campus’s vacant 1904 building.


A foreman working on the vacant schoolhouse also said that the membrane on the campus’ 1967 addition had been incorrectly adhered to a metal strip that runs along the perimeter of the entire facility ­creating what Doyon viewed to be an “emergency situation.”

 Chariho Superintendent Barry J. Ricci said earlier this week that he did not consider the roof’s condition to be an emergency, though the district would continue garnering bids from three local contractors to fix any roof problems in accor­dance with district policy.

Recent water leaks at the school caused about $900 worth of damage to books on a shelf, though the items have been replaced, he acknowl­edged.


“Clearly, yesterday’s event was far more significant than it has been in the past,” Ricci said. “It (the leak) was proba­bly attributed to the severity of the storm. We have a roofer there this morning to look at it and assess the needs. We will make a decision this morning on how to go forward.”

 Ricci – who has been superin­tendent since July 2005 – said he is unaware of any leaks at the Hillside Avenue facility within the last year. “I’m not recalling any, but I’m not say­ing anyone hasn’t told me about a leak,” he said. Chariho Finance and Administration Director Brian Stanley confirmed this morn­ing that school administrators authorized $4,975 in emer­gency roof repairs in February 2006 to address conditions at the Ashaway School.

The repairs – which were completed during a time of excessive rains and high winds – were made after Director of Buildings and Grounds Dan Cartier determined that the work needed to be done “right then and there,” he said. According to Stanley, two other district elementary school roofs were also repaired under the auspices of emer­gency conditions at the Hope Valley Elementary School on Thelma Drive, and Charlestown Elementary School on Carolina Back Road.

But Chariho School Committee member George Abbott – who represents the town of Hopkinton – said he does not recall any of the emer­gency repairs made to any of the schools named by Stanley. “I don’t recall that specifical­ly,” he said. “I wasn’t aware of that.” Abbott – who visited the Ashaway School on Thursday to confirm Doyon’s assessment that the facility would leak “big time” during the next rain­storm – said he considers the roof’s condition to be an emer­gency situation.

Repairs should be made immediately, he said. “It was pretty bad,” Abbott said of the affected classrooms. “It (water) was coming down the walls like a little waterfall, in one room in particular. You can’t just let that go without repairs. I think there’s another storm coming on Sunday.”



  1. Let’s see, between the dismissal of an unnecessary assistant superintendent valued at over $100,000 and $320,000 worth of “Deans of Students”, we can fix all the roofs and have money left over for a few field trips.

    No one happened to see Mr. Ricci in overalls and a iron bar on top of Ashaway School recently, did they? Could be a last ditch effort to convince voters that all children, social services agencies, laundromats, bookstores, animal shelters, and a Senior Citizens’ Center should be moved to the Chariho complex? Now that would be convenient. Mr. Ricci could be annointed king!

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 13, 2007 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  2. […] with the issue – A few weeks ago, we had a bad leak at the 1967 Ashaway school (see posts here and here).  The EOC has always been a citizen voice regarding the schools and took pictures of the […]

    Pingback by A response to McQuade and Petit « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — May 8, 2007 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

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