Friday, February 10, 2017


School district IT basement before repairs
The September basement ceiling collapse at the Board of Education, which also affected the board meeting room above it, has kept the meeting room closed for nearly five months.

And now it appears it will not be ready for use until May.

Board President Elizabeth Baker announced the further delay at the last board meeting on Jan. 30, stating there will also be a special closed session board meeting on Monday in the board offices to discuss the Superintendent's evaluation process, but no action will be taken.

The ceiling collapse occurred in the basement IT department, which is directly below the board meeting room. Since then, the ceiling has been repaired, but the room above has remained unusable.

Repaired IT basement room ceiling
Images obtained of the repaired ceiling indicate some water damage still apparently visible.

Initial estimates had the meeting room back in use by December, then March. Now May appears to be the earliest date.

So far the district has spent nearly $300,000 on the repairs, with nearly half for asbestos removal. But it is unclear what is causing the continued repair. 

In the meantime, the board has had to hold meetings in the Columbia High School auditorium, library and at other locations, including South Orange Middle School. Baker said last month the next few meetings would be at the Montrose School in South Orange because the CHS auditorium is being used for the spring musical production.

We reached out to the district asking why the repairs had taken so long, but have yet to receive a response.

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