EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

January 23, 2013

$5M in repairs make Haverhill schools warmer

Also designed to save taxpayers money in heating costs

HAVERHILL — The last of almost $5 million in repairs to four city schools is underway, as workers replace windows and doors at Whitter Middle and Consentino schools.

Whittier Principal Toni Donais said work began earlier this month in 20 classrooms receiving new windows and that it is expected to take two days for each room to be renovated. All the work is done after school hours between 3 and 11 p.m., she said.

Windows in Whittier’s cafeteria have already been replaced as have about half of the overhead windows in the building’s gymnasium, Donais said. Similar work is underway at Consentino, officials said.

“The kids say the windows look so modern,” Donais said. “The new windows in the cafeteria light the whole room up.”

The repairs are designed to keep buildings warm for students and staff and also to save taxpayer money for heating.

About $3.5 million for the work is from the state’s Green Repair energy repair program. Haverhill is kicking in $1.4 million, Mayor James Fiorentini said.

A portion of the city’s contribution was raised by selling property and the rest is coming from the mayor’s capital improvements budget, which was approved by the City Council last year.

In the fall, Tilton Elementary School received a new roof and Walnut Square Elementary School got a new roof and heating and hot-water systems. The money was also used to install new boilers at Consentino.

The project was originally going to include new roofs and windows at Hunking and Greenleaf schools in Bradford, but those buildings were left alone after serious problems were detected with Hunking’s foundation last year. The city plans to build a replacement school for Hunking within the next five years and the new building is expected to be large enough to accommodate students who currently attend nearby Greenleaf elementary. Greeleaf also has serious structural problems which threaten its long-term viability, officials said.

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