METHUEN — Members of the committee overseeing the $98 million high school project found out about a mold problem in the building’s new auditorium through the press months later, raising questions about the contractor and project manager communication.
At least two members, Joe Leone and City Councilor Ronald Marsan, complained to Trident, the city’s project management company, and Consigli Construction at the Building Committee’s last hearing in August about not being told mold was discovered in the auditorium after water entered the space during heavy rains last spring.
Trident and Consigli had the chance to respond to their concerns the next day. When a pipe fitting failed in a corridor in the high school on Thursday, Aug. 29, committee members were kept abreast of the failure, the water leak and the weekend-long cleanup effort via email. The fitting was repaired, dry wall and ceiling tiles were replaced and the area cleaned up in time for teachers to arrive the following Tuesday.
Students started in the newly renovated half of the building last Wednesday.
About a half-dozen members, including Mayor Stephen Zanni, said in interviews that they were not told about mold in the auditorium’s dry wall until either a reporter from The Eagle-Tribune called two weeks ago to ask about the remediation or until it appeared in print on Aug. 21.
“I didn’t hear anything until I read about it in paper,” Zanni said.
The issue was not that Consigli did the work without prior approval, members said, but rather that they did not inform the Building Committee about the work, which Consigli will pay for itself.
Member George Kazanjian said he did not hear about it either, but was satisfied with Consigli’s and Trident’s response at the meeting Aug. 28. “They felt they fixed (the mold) and that was it and it was okay,” Kazanjian said. “But they apologized and said it would not happen again.”