EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 24, 2013

Security, ventilation, other areas need work, letter says

Concerns at the high school, according to a letter from the city’s maintenance director to Superintendent James Scully, include:

Building security. According to Thomas Geary, the city’s maintenance director, the school’s renovation did not include any modern security upgrades.

“A burglar alarm was installed to protect the building during unoccupied hours, but there are many crucial upgrades that need to be made,” Geary said in his letter.

He said there are 91 security cameras at the high school, but that the system is “taxed to its limits and needs to be updated” for the safety of students and staff.

Roof on the swimming pool building. School Committee President Paul Magliocchetti said the building’s roof has been is desperate need of repair since he joined the School Committee three years ago.

“For years, we were told it was damaged in a storm and that we were trying to get at least a portion of the money for repairs from the insurance company,” Magliocchetti said. “Now all of sudden there’s no more talk of that, only that the roof is badly damaged and we need to fix it.”

Heating, air-conditioning and ventilation. During the renovation, the entire building was outfitted with a computer-based control system. But during installation, the contractor left the job and had to be replaced with another company, Geary said.

His letter said the city is negotiating with Ameresco, an energy service company, to test and upgrade the system.

Irrigation. The campus around the high school was redesigned in the renovation, but it did not include an irrigation system to maintain landscaping.

“For the past three years, the custodians have had to scramble to connect an extremely long series of garden hoses and move sprinklers around throughout the day,” Geary said.

Maglocchetti said the contractor who did the landscaping was supposed to come back for the next three years to water the grass. But that has not happened, he said.

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