By Seth Daniel
The Garfield School roof project is going well this summer, but might end up taking a little longer than expected, according to Supt. Dianne Kelly.
Crews have been working on the $7.9 million roof replacement and hurricane damage repairs since the beginning of the summer, and will likely be done with most of the project when school starts on Aug. 28.
However, work on the pool area, which was damaged a few years back by Hurricane Sandy, will likely continue with some other fine tuning into the school year.
“They are generally on time,” said Kelly. “It’s looking like the pool area won’t be completed on time for the school opening. There will be some parts, like the Early Childhood playground on the third floor won’t be done. The roof will be done though and they’ll mostly be doing finishing touches…It’s a pretty difficult and ostentatious project.”
One of the major problems is the curtain wall that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy along the outside of the pool area. The repairs have been a long time coming, but were delayed in order to be wrapped into the roof project.
As many figured, it was more difficult than expected.
“The curtain wall will take time because they had to do a re-design once they opened the wall,” she said.
The overall roof project at the Garfield has been a headache for administrators, having been pulled last summer due to getting a late start with the procurement process. After getting their ducks in line over the fall and winter, a contractor got materials ready and began work during April School Vacation this year. The project picked up full time once school was out.
Another project is on the horizon this year for the Garfield, that one being the $1.3 million boiler replacement project. That project went out to bid this year, but bids were not in line with funding.
The bids for that project are expected to go back out in the fall, when Kelly said they believe they will get more favorable responses.
- Changes in staffing for new year
Several members of the administration will be new when school starts on Aug. 28, and nowhere will that be more noticeable than at the Lincoln School.
Principal Jodie Gennodie has left the position, and Sara Hoomis will be the new principal – coming to the district from Lowell Public Schools.
Meanwhile, Connor O’Keefe will become the new assistant principal at the Rumney Marsh Academy, having been an educational test liaison in the district’s Special Education program previously. The former RMA assistant principal, Lena Marie Rockwood, has transferred across the playing fields to Revere High School, where she will be the new assistant principal.
Meanwhile, long-time administrator Toni D’Eramo has retired and Revere native Briana Tsoupas will be taking on part of her job. Tsoupas was an elementary school teacher at the Lincoln and the Whelan, and now she will be an assistant curriculum director.
Another assistant principal position remains open at RHS, as long-time Assistant Principal Monica Caporale has departed for a special education position in the Chelsea Public Schools.
There are 40 new teachers expected to take to their classrooms across the district this year. They will report on Aug. 15 for early training.
- The Seacoast High School has received a $150,000 planning grant from the renowned BARR Foundation.
The grant will look at how school can be tailored to the kids at Seacoast, providing internships, vocational training, alternative schedules, and other innovations.
Principal Steve Magno is leading a team of teachers, students and parents from Seacoast to envision what a transformed school might be like.
“The idea is to figure out the needs of the students and design school around their needs, not the other way around,” said Kelly.
Eight other districts also received the planning grant and are partnering with Seacoast, including Chelsea, Pioneer Charter and Phoenix Charter.
If the planning grant is accepted for Seacoast, it could lead to a $750,000 implementation grant from the BARR Foundation.