EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 13, 2013

Report: Moisture on pipes fed mold

Uninsulated AC pipes suggested as culprit


The City Council’s budget committee voted 4-0 to send Ianello’s request to borrow the added $3 million to the full council without a recommendation, then scheduled a tour of the Guilmette School for noon today.

Ianello said he hoped to put the project out to bid next month, allowing work to begin when the school year ends in June. He said he is hopeful the work will cost between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, but said he is asking for permission to borrow $3 million in case his estimates are off.

The school district so far has paid or set aside $3 million to cover its share of the cost, including $1.9 million owed to the ServPro franchises that worked on the environmental cleanup until they were thrown off the job, and the $117,000 cost of renting Our Lady of Good Council School from the Archdiocese of Boston to house some of the Guilmette students relocated during the cleanup.

Deputy School Superintendent Marylou Bergeron told the City Council last night that the school district so far has refused to pay the ServPro bills because of “some issues that had arisen,” but did not elaborate.

The city so far has spent $581,000 on the project, including $360,000 to the Hinkley Allen Snyder law firm, which the city replaced after determining that its $500-an-hour bills were unaffordable.

McDonnell, the lawyer who took over the case, told the council he has filed suits in Superior Court to recover the full cost of the work against Peabody Construction, the general contractor that built the Guilmette School about a decade ago, and Travelers’ Insurance, which insured the work.

McDonnell said the claim will focus on the air-conditioning system, which he caused the mold infestation because its pipes weren’t insulated and because its “control system was not dialed into the mechanicals.”

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