Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 13, 2007

Thank God for today’s sunshine

Filed under: Chariho,Maintenance — Editor @ 10:06 am

Up on the leaky roof – Contractor: School roof critical By Chris Keegan The Sun Staff

ASHAWAY – An independent contractor hired to repair gutters at the original Ashaway School has determined that the roof of the school’s 1967 addition needs to be repaired immediately.

 Or worse, replaced. 

But Chariho Superintendent Barry J. Ricci is disagreeing with the Roofing Unlimited Inc. owner Richard A. Doyon’s assessment that the leaking roof is an “emer­gency situation” – and will pro­ceed with the repairs in accor­dance with a district policy that requires three companies to bid on the patch work.


On Wednesday morning, a fore­man with Doyon’s company showed The Sun and Hopkinton’s Educational Options Study Committee member Dorothy Gardiner several rips in the roof’s upper layer – which is comprised of a rubber membrane. The mate­rial was incorrectly adhered to a metal strip that runs along the perimeter of the building – which appears to be warped in some places due to stress, he said.


“My feeling is that it’s not nec­essary to go out to bid,” said Doyon, noting that several ceiling tiles in a classroom had already been removed due to water damage. “The integrity of the roof is gone.” Asked by Gardiner if he considers the leak to be an immediate safety concern, Doyon said: “If water is coming in, what would you call it? An emergency.”Though she approved a review of the roof’s condition, Ashaway School Principal Linda Perra declined comment through a school clerk this morning.

 Ricci, however, acknowledged that the roof is leaking and that water has spread to three classrooms inside the Hillside Avenue school. In accordance with district policy, school officials are currently garner­ing three bids from compa­nies to repair the leak, he said.

Doyon’s company – which is based in Hope Valley – is one of the contractors that submitted a bid to complete the roof work.


“There’s a difference in opinion about whether this is an emergency or not,” Ricci said. “It is not an emergency. But we do acknowledge there is a roof leak, which I became aware of at the end of last week.


We’re getting three quotes in accordance with policy.”


“I think that sometimes the media gets used by cer­tain people who paint the district in a poor light,” Ricci added. “To imply this problem is being ignored is totally untrue.” Ricci could not confirm when roof work on the 1967 addition was last done.


Members of the Educational Options Study Committee have recently criticized the district for a perceived lack of upkeep at the original Ashaway Schoolhouse – known by most as the “1904 building” for the year it opened.


Both Gardiner and Hope Valley business owner Georgia Ure – who serve on the committee – have chided school administrators for allegedly removing furni­ture from the building when the school’s fifth graders were moved to Chariho Middle School in Richmond last fall.


The school district stopped using the 1904 building in June due to state fire code and federal American With Disabilities Act requirements – but con­tinues to use a separate addition that was built in 1967.


The town is currently in negotiations with the regional school district over the Ashaway campus’ $1 annual lease. At issue is whether the district should continue maintaining the 1904 building in accordance with the contract – which technically covers both town-owned buildings on the school campus.


Hopkinton Town Manager William DiLibero confirmed Wednesday that the town has hired Doyon’s company to repair gutters and down­spouts on the 1904 building – which have been cited as being “ineffective” by Gardiner and Ure.


The Sun learned of Doyon’s assessment after a member of the Educational Options Study Committee contacted a news editor.


In related news, school officials at the Richmond Elementary School recently faced similar roof problems at the Kingstown Road schoolhouse. Within the last few weeks, a leak in one of the classrooms caused a damaged ceiling tile to col­lapse – causing water dam­age to the floor beneath it, Ricci said.


“There was significant leakage,” he said. “They had to move kids out of room to get the repairs done. Now we’re waiting for a rain­storm to determine whether the repairs were successful.” A 100-percent chance of rain today will likely resolve the matter.


Town officials in Charlestown, Hopkinton and Richmond have long called for improvements to district elementary schools ­though voters in Charlestown and Hopkinton rejected plans for $99.8 mil­lion worth of district-wide facilities improvements in 2005.

 Last year, tri-town voters approved a $123,560 budget warrant item for roof repairs at the Chariho Middle School in order to fix leaks and resulting water damage at the Switch Road facility. Voters approved $148,000 for the first phase of the repair work in 2005.

[update] Yesterday, two classrooms in Ashaway had to be evacuated due to leaks.  Richmond also had a leak.


1 Comment »

  1. […] things like when he said the Ashaway roof was not an emergency and a day later kids had to be removed from the classrooms because of leaks.  I used the word, […]

    Pingback by In Westerly Sun « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — December 6, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Reply

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