Superintendent of Schools
22 Main St.
West Newbury, MA 01985
For Immediate Release
Monday, Feb. 2, 2015
Contact: Jeff Mulqueen, Superintendent
Water Main Breaks at Pentucket Regional High School
School Will be Closed Tuesday During Repairs
Middle School Not Affected
WEST NEWBURY, Mass. — Superintendent Jeff Mulqueen reports that the 6-inch water main supplying water to Pentucket Regional High School broke late Sunday night, and repairs will force the closure of the high school on Tuesday.
Schools were closed Monday due to snow. Pending weather updates, Pentucket Regional Middle School, which was not affected, is slated to open on time.
At about 10 p.m. Sunday, a West Newbury Police Officer on patrol on Rt. 113 noticed a significant rise in the roadway between the schools and Nick’s Place restaurant. The rise elevated vehicles driving in the area. Crews determined that the rise was caused by a water main break.
Once the water valve at the high school was turned off, the pressure subsided, and the roadway leveled off again.
The break will require significant emergency repair work, which is not possible during the current snow and ice storm that is hitting the region. For this reason, the High School will not have water during the repairs, and it will be closed on Tuesday.
Gregory Hadden, Facilities Manager for the Pentucket Regional School District, is putting a repair plan into place, and reported the following:
- All possible solutions are being evaluated to minimize cost and risk
- PRSD will contact Unit Construction and secure their work to begin repairs early Tuesday morning.
- The gas main to the school complex is in the same area as the water main, so digging will be a careful process
- Water will be brought in by the barrel to feed the high school’s boilers if necessary
The water main that broke is the same vintage water line that broke under the high school last April and also seven years ago. The school district is seeking a permanent solution and a complete water main replacement.
Pentucket Regional school District is developing a Statement of interest for possible submission to the MSBA (Massachusetts School building Authority) to address the growing concerns about the obsolete infrastructure and other substantial facility deficiencies at PRHS.
The obsolete high school facility continues to draw funds away from the implementation of innovative educational programs in the District.
Dramatically over-running a $20,000 budget for maintenance, this year alone, approximately $100,000 of funds scheduled for high school repairs have been expended an an additional $100,000 may be required for unanticipated emergency repairs.
“The exponential rise in repairs to the high school are taking valuable funds away from our educational programs and is an inefficient use of public funds,” Superintendent Mulqueen said. “Repairs only restore the school to its 1950’s capacity. Pentucket’s educational programming is innovative and contemporary, outpacing the capacity of the facility.”