April 05, 2020

SAD 53 panel talks of building improvements

PITTSFIELD — Members of the SAD 53 building committee were busy this week reviewing a number of major building improvements, including new gym floors, increased capacity ventilation systems and new windows in several locations.

Superintendent Terry McCannell reported Wednesday that three cracks that appeared this past week in walls at Vickery School are not a result of roof failure or imminent collapse. “The cracks are in the soft ceiling board,” he said, not in the ceiling structure or roof framing.

As soon as the cracks were discovered, McCannell called local engineer Richard Dutting to evaluate the situation. “He was at the school within a half-hour,” McCannell said. It was then determined that the cracks occurred when the entire school shifted during wide-ranging temperatures over the past two weeks.

This week, McCannell said, none of the district’s three primary schools had roof leaks, but Warsaw Middle School was experiencing leaking. “Warsaw has always leaked,” the superintendent noted. None of the leaks was serious, he said, but indicative of the problems with a flat roof and Maine winters.

At a building committee meeting Tuesday night, McCannell outlined possible projects that could be funded all at once through a bond.

“We are fortunate that our district is one of the state’s districts with the least amount of debt,” he said. SAD 53 pays $45,000 a year in debt payments. No cost estimates were available for the proposed building improvements.

Some of the projects discussed included ventilation systems at Burnham Village School and Vickery School. The current systems are not up to code, McCannell explained. Also discussed were replacement windows for the old section of Burnham Village School, a new entry at Vickery School, new windows for the entire Warsaw Middle School, a dust collection system and masonry at Warsaw, and replacment of more than 20 vent units. “The current units are useless. There is no air exchange,” McCannell said.

The committee also discussed replacing the gym floors at Warsaw and Vickery. The Warsaw floor is a high-maintenance wood floor that is 27 years old.

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