Cold weather creates trouble for Vermont schools

This article by Derek Carson originally appeared Jan. 2 in the Bennington Banner.

BENNINGTON — The recent cold weather has impacted local schools as students return from their winter break.

Arlington Memorial Middle and High School facilities staff worked through the holiday weekend in order to ensure that students could return on time after a pipe burst in the school’s gym on Sunday. Superintendent William Bazyk announced on Sunday morning via Twitter that a sprinkler pipe had burst in the gymnasium and that students’ first day back could be hindered. However, on Monday he said Facilities Manager Jaime Paustian and his crew had cleaned up the gym and that school would resume as scheduled.

“A large thank you to Jamie Paustian and his crew for acting swiftly on a holiday weekend to ensure school will open as scheduled,” said Bazyk.

On Tuesday, Bazyk said that the gym, which had been already been scheduled for major renovations this spring as part of the school district’s $1.6 million facilities project, will now remain closed until those renovations are complete. The gym project was originally intended to be completed over last summer, along with smaller renovations that were being done throughout AMMHS and Fisher Elementary School, but bids for contractors came back higher than anticipated, and the board decided in June to delay the gym work until 2018. Among the scheduled work on the gymnasium includes repairing and reinforcing the walls, installing additional bracing on the roof structure, replacing the roof deck, putting on a new gym roof, installing new insulation, and installing new lighting and fans. Bazyk said that insurance would cover the cost of gym floor repair.

“Despite an arduous effort to save the gym floor, including the procurement of this heater, it is beyond repair and will need to be replaced,” posted Bazyk on Tuesday afternoon. “This will entail a change of venue for sports and PE.”

Read full article at the Bennington Banner.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union