Update: Roof leak floods six classrooms at Taconic High School


Photo Gallery: Rain leaks through Taconic ceilings

PITTSFIELD -- Six classrooms at Taconic High School were rendered "unusable" on Thursday after a widespread roof leak spilled water into rooms and hallways in parts of the building.

Classes held in those rooms had to be relocated to other classrooms elsewhere in the building, according toPrincipal John Vosburgh. A stairwell also had to be closed.

Vosburgh said he and school officials entered the school about 7 a.m. and found that the classrooms had about a quarter of an inch of water on the floors. There were buckets throughout the second floor of the building to collect water dripping from the ceiling.

About 30 ceiling tiles had fallen off, though Vosburgh said they weren't falling while classes were being held. School workers punctured holes in the tiles that had collected water and appeared close to collapsing, he said. School officials were covering monitors and projectors.

The six classrooms were used for English and foreign language classes. Those classes were switched to rooms that were scheduled to be vacant. Students were notified of the changes with an announcement at the end of each period, Vosburgh said.

"We're finding more leaks," Vosburgh said at 11:30 a.m. "It's better than it was at 7 in the morning," he said. Vosburgh is worried that the water could spread to other parts of the building. "We're just hoping it doesn't get any worse," he said.

Maintenance workers from the city of Pittsfield were working on patching the roof, Vosburgh said.

In December, a leak in the heating system beneath the main office shut down the school for a day. The substance leaking was likened to anti-freeze.

Vosburgh said the school has had leaks every year during his five-year tenure but that this one was "by far the worst I've had." One year, the school needed 21 buckets to collect water from the leaking roof, he said. "I've never had to relocate classrooms."

The city has been in the planning and hearing stages for designing either a renovation of the school or a building replacement. Vosburgh expects that will include a new roof.

Vosburgh said the school has had leaks every year during his five-year tenure but that this one was "by far the worst I've had."

Students in the 10th grade were taking their Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests this week.

"Today is the one day that we don't have scheduled testing," Vosburgh said, "so we kind of dodged a bullet."

Testing is set to resume on Friday. Vosburgh is hopeful that there won't be any testing-related issues as a result of the leaks, but said he had a backup plan just in case.

"It's never a good thing when you have to move classes," he said. "The teachers have been great. The students have been great. It's definitely disruptive."

To reach Nathan Mayberg:
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