Custodians, contractors working to keep roofs safe at Hollis, Brookline schools

To the Editor:

This winter will be one for the ages. In light of the significant snowfall and cold temperatures, I wanted to take a moment to update you on our buildings and the snow loads on our roofs.

Our custodians, contractors and our road agents have been doing an outstanding job in clearing our lots, maintaining our buildings, and monitoring and removing snow from our roofs. We began monitoring the snow load shortly after the first major storm. Our custodians have regularly visited our roofs and been in constant communications with their building administration and the SAU.

At the elementary level, our buildings in Brookline and Hollis have been monitored by their school and SAU administration.

At RMMS, we have been removing icicles and monitoring the snow load on a daily basis. On Feb. 17, the fire department, a structural engineer, town representatives, Principal Perry and SAU administration inspected the building. The amount of snow on the kindergarten and first-grade wing prompted us to take a precautionary action of moving students from this wing while the snow is being removed.

At CSDA, late Feb. 16, we experienced a frozen pipe that cracked and set off the alarm system. The situation was dealt with by our custodians, the fire department responded and our HVAC company has corrected the situation.

The portable classrooms at CSDA were experiencing some leaking as a result of ice dams. We have made arrangements for those classrooms not to be used until the ice dams are addressed. The snow from the roof of the portables has been removed on two occasions.

In Hollis, the primary and upper school roofs have been checked on a regular basis. The snow loads on both of these roofs is not as substantial because they are flat and their configuration does not promote the buildup of snow. The recent winds have assisted us with much of the snow being removed by Mother Nature.

Our custodians will continue to conduct regular inspections to ensure that vent pipes remain clear. We will continue to monitor the snow loads on both roofs on a regular basis.

At the middle school, there is one area that tends to accumulate snow because of the building configuration. This drift was reduced prior to the last storm and has been shoveled again. There have been a few minor leaks that were caused by ice dams.

At Hollis Brookline High School, we will be addressing snow drifts that occurred during the most recent storm. Those roof drifts will also be reduced.

Our staff at all our buildings will continue to monitor our roofs and check exhaust vents on a regular basis.

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with these multiple storms.

Andrew F. Corey
Superintendent of Schools