Park Street leak will cost $56,600 in repairs
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | February 21,2013
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield School District waited a year too long to repair the roof of the Park Street school building.
Snow melt from the recent nor’easter, which dumped up to 16 inches on Springfield, caused major leaks in the building and forced the School Board to pass emergency funding Tuesday to begin necessary repairs.
Steven Hier, director of financial services, said the district will spend $56,600 to repair roof leaks that caused wall and carpet damage all the way down to the basement level, he said.
The school district had originally planned to fix the roof after the school closed in 2010. According to Hier, repairs kept getting postponed because the school district was trying to determine how to use the building after closing it.
Repairs began Wednesday and they will be financed with money set aside in the roofing reserve fund and capital plan.
“We put it off one year too many,” Hier said. “The repairs are fairly substantial and we estimate that $28,000 will come from the fund and we (saved) $30,000 in the capital plan this fiscal year. It will not impact the local budget for next year.”
The Park Street school building was built in 1895 for students in grades K-5. The school closed in 2008 after voters passed an article to close the school rather than make necessary renovations after it fell into disrepair.
The Park Street building has been a lingering community concern because voters authorized the School Board to dispose of, give away or sell the Park and East Street schools in 2010.
The East Street School, built in 1920, has been closed for years and is now on the market for $150,000 while the school district still uses the Park Street building as its central office.
Selectman David Yesman said future meetings will be scheduled to discuss the fate of the Park Street building. He said many residents still want the building permanently closed.
A special committee was established to determine the fate of the Park Street school building. The committee will consist of two Select Board members, two School Board members and an at-large member to be determined.
Yesman said it would cost $3.25 million for a complete overhaul of the Park Street building. He hopes the committee will put the best interests of Springfield taxpayers in mind.
“Hopefully a decision will be made one way or the other,” Yesman said. “I’m hopeful it will happen. It’s a big building with a lot of history and sentimental value. I’m one of those people.”
A date has not been determined for the committee meeting, he said.