20210830-LOC-Conant

JAFFREY — After flooding and mold issues caused the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District to postpone the start of school, officials are still tallying up the total cost of damages — but a district spokesman says repairs are estimated at about $100,000.

The district anticipates insurance will cover most of the damages and associated work, according to spokesman Nicholas Handy.

Recent humidity is to blame for the mold, Superintendent Reuben Duncan wrote in a letter to families and staff posted to the district’s website last Thursday, adding that rooms in Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School/Conant High School have the most significant amount of mold of any of the district’s schools.

“This summer has been full of unprecedented struggles,” he wrote.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, mold was found in eight rooms in the middle school/high school, eight rooms at Rindge Memorial School and five rooms at Jaffrey Grade School, according to Handy.

As of Monday afternoon, all the rooms with mold issues had been treated and cleaned, Handy said. An environmental hygienist was on site that day to take air samples, and the district expects to have those results today to determine if additional remediation is necessary, he said.

Meanwhile, at the high school, Pratt Auditorium is undergoing repairs after this summer’s heavy rains significantly damaged the drainpipes, according to Duncan. A junction connecting three roof drainpipes is located beneath the auditorium and needs to be repaired, Handy said, adding that one of the drainpipes was repaired last week.

But academic buildings weren’t the only ones hit with water damage this summer. The N.H. School Administrative Unit 47 Office on Conant Drive in Jaffrey experienced flooding during July’s downpours. Much of the office’s flooring had to be replaced, as well as some drywall, according to Duncan’s Aug. 26 letter. As of last week, the office building’s repairs were about halfway done, Duncan said.

At an emergency meeting Friday, the Jaffrey-Rindge school board voted to postpone the first day of school by a week while the issues in the school buildings are addressed, Duncan wrote in a letter to families and staff posted on the district’s website on Aug. 27.

The district’s first day of school is now scheduled for Sept. 7 for grades 1-12 and Sept. 9 for pre-K and kindergarten students, according to Duncan.

Molly Bolan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436 or mbolan@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @BolanMolly.