In response to the major flooding event on Sunday morning, school administrators quickly arrived and jumped into action. Throughout the day on Sunday, the facilities director, maintenance staff, the security director, and principal, Shawna Kurr worked to salvage what they could out of damaged areas, making curriculum materials and technology a priority. Multiple members of the district trustees were present to help with the inspection of the building. The custodial and maintenance staff have worked tirelessly between Sunday and Monday to get the building ready for staff to return and begin preparing for student learning.
Bob Kahler, superintendent of schools, and Tricia Campbell, BRHS principal were also at BRES on Sunday to help determine a plan. They met with Shawna Kurr and prepared an initial plan for instruction, including in person and remote learning. The decision for in person learning was prioritized by the ability of students to adjust more quickly to remote instruction and our youngest students requiring childcare and having the most impact on our community and working families as a whole. We utilized our COVID learned lessons and procedures to prioritize in person learning for our youngest students. As the scope of damage and building needs emerge through additional assessments, we will continue to adjust our instructional plans with the goal of getting all of our students back for in person learning as soon as possible. What we have already communicated for plans, we hope, is the worst case scenario.
A number of outside companies have been contacted and arrived at the school on Monday to further assess the situation. This included a plumber, electrician, and a heating systems company. Arsenault Plumbing was in on Monday to repair the domestic water line break in the kitchen, however more work needs to be done. Northern Lights Electric was also at BRES on Monday for an initial electrical assessment. Repairs were made on a few outlets and light switches as needed during the inspection. Some light switches and electrical outlets were taken out of service to ensure safety and will be assessed later this week as they dry out. Heating and ventilation Company, Honeywell did an assessment on the heating units in some classrooms as there was damage created by the water.
Additional inspections and work will continue to happen in the coming days. Bouchard’s Cleaning and Restoration will be in on Tuesday to do an initial evaluation on the extent of the water damage and develop a mitigation plan. There are multiple dehumidifiers that are throughout the school to prevent the growth of mold throughout the school. Northeast Test Consultants will also be coming on Tuesday to do an air quality clearance and mold testing to determine next steps and ensure a safe building moving forward. It has been determined that the sprinklers are fully operational at this point. Minuteman Fire and Security company needs to further inspect other components of our fire system that had water damage. On Thursday, we will also have a company inspect the flooring in the building and provide information with regards to repair or replacement of damaged rugs and tiles.
Teachers will begin coming into the building as early as Tuesday to assess the damage to their rooms, sift through instructional materials that have been damaged, and plan for instruction.
The final inspection and clearance for students to return to the building will be made by local fire and police, following all building codes and inspection reports.
There is an emergency school committee meeting this evening at 6 to discuss current conditions at BRES and educational options due to the water damage.