SHIRLEY — Several volunteers pulled in by James Schaff repaired problems with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at Shirley Middle School last month.
At the last School Committee meeting, Schaff gave members a summary of his findings after two weekends of hands-on repair work at the school.
“(Schaff) and eight of his friends came in and did a lot over the weekend,” Superintendent Dr. Thomas Scott said, “We appreciate it very much.”
Volunteers came together from different parts of Massachusetts, each bringing different skills to the table. Refreshments were even provided by Donna Schaff during the work days.
In addition to troubleshooting and repairing failing units, Schaff and his team of volunteers identified new issues with controls monitoring outside air and leaking coils. The group found that one of the HVAC units supporting the computer room and library was missing one of two air conditioning compressors. The Trane communications board had also been removed.
“There are some things that just weren’t done,” Schaff said. He added that it is possible some of the contractors that were not paid at the time may not have come back, and the ceilings were put up before the work on the HVAC was complete.
The School Committee also:
* Discussed repairing the center school roof. Parent Christine House said some parents are concerned that the center school may close.
There are no plans to close the school, Wilson said.
The committee agreed to have Building Inspector Butch Farrar inspect the roof before making the determination that a full replacement needs to be done.
* Received an update from Principal Suzanne Mahoney regarding the placement of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes at Lura A. White (LAW) Elementary School. Of eight classrooms, six will be used for the two grades. The remaining two rooms could house the Fitchburg, Leominster, Lancaster and Clinton (FLLAC) classes held at Devens.
* Talked about the high cost of moving school administrative offices to the former library. Instead, committee Chairman Bob Prescott said town administrator Kyle Keady is checking into sharing rooms at the Town Hall for a fee. Prescott said he expects the cost would be less than doing updates at the library.
* Heard from member Robert Schuler about reimbursable projects at LAW.
Any of the costs associated with renovating the elementary school are reimbursable, said Schuler in direct conflict with statements made by Tappe Associates, the architectural firm hired to perform a study on renovations.
At meetings held with Tappe Associates, the firm said only projects that add educational value are reimbursable.