Leak concerns school officials

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 8:45am

School Supt. Judith Lundsten and Town Facilities Manager Sam Bird reported to the School Committee in October that a leak had been found under the aluminum siding on the north side of the gym. That discovery “is more concerning to me than anything else on this agenda,” Lundsten said.

The problem is a perforation in the exterior skin, which most likely is allowing moisture to condense inside the wall, Lundsten said. Bird added, “Something is going to need to be done to that, post haste.” He said the options were to replace the aluminum skin (which may be under warranty), or spray foam insulation on the inside surface, which would improve the thermal efficiency of the building.

School Committee member Elizabeth Connor replied, “I want to know if this is an isolated case” or a more extensive problem. Bird said he will investigate. 

As of Wednesday, Nov. 13, Bird said he was still investigating the issue.

The long-delayed solar project has now received all necessary approvals, and the design is finalized, Lundsten reported. The panels and other system components have been ordered. The engineer is now working with the teachers regarding the solar education curriculum, required by the grant. 

A new dumpster pad must be solid poured concrete, according to the state Department of Health, with a fence and a bumper. A contractor has submitted a quote of $8,000, but committee members felt the price was high, and asked for the quote to be broken down. William Rose, Inc. later reported to the School Committee that the dumpster pad would cost $3,800 and the fence and bumper would cost $4,200.

The new minibus is scheduled to be delivered in mid-November. Its primary use will be transporting students, Lundsten said, and Howie Rice is working on how to divide the current bus route between the new bus and the large bus he operates under contract.

Lundsten took the Committee's suggestions on a draft policy that would allow use of the bus, with the school's driver, by other organizations. “Obviously, taxpayer money is supporting this,” she said.

Discussion of the 2018-2019 school calendar was deferred. Member Jessica Willi said she “would love to hear if the parents have a preference” on the alternative dates for the February vacation in particular. She and Lundsten said they will develop an online survey to gather data from parents.

School enrollment for the current year was posted at 119 students, the same number as last year, and up slightly from the 111 students enrolled in 2015. The highest enrollment number in the past 10 years was recorded in 2007, when the Block Island School had 146 students. Trends in birth numbers, projected out for the next 10 years, anticipate that the School may have 153 students enrolled in 2027. (According to the New England School Development Council.)

The following coaches have been named for the 2017/18 basketball season: Rob Closter, Girls Varsity Head Coach and acting Boys JV Head Coach; Paul Hemingway, Boys Varsity Head Coach; Kelsey Gammell, Girls JV Assistant Coach; Tracy Heinz, Girls JV Head Coach and Boys JH Assistant Coach; Closter and Tarbox, Co-winter Weight Room Supervisor. 

The school is still seeking a Boys JV Head Coach, a Boys Varsity Assistant Coach and a Girls Varsity Assistant Coach. Anyone interested in these positions can contact the School office at (401) 466-5600.