2 thoughts on “First in the State: Council Funds Building Two Net Zero Energy Schools; No Override

  1. My questions were not answered. What was the cost to lease St. Jude’s Building for 2-3 years and how much did it cost to remove asbestos from St. Jude’s. What is the ventilation going to be like in another old building such as St. Jude’s for these young students, staff,parents and guardians. I noticed at St.Judes air conditionings in the windows which had been proven to spread Covid-19. The answer given to me and others “it was included in the cost from building the two schools Hosmer and Cunniff together “. That is not an answer what is the breakdown of the cost leasing ,repairing removal of asbestos ,and adding all new technology to St. Jude’s, this was paid by Watertown not by The Archdiocese .I know transparency has not happened my questions have not been answered. I want all students,staff,parents and guardians to be safe. When parents were told of this option of St.Judes my the focus was on the short commute to St. Jude’s compared to the commute to the Hosmer. I am glad the new buildings will offer safer ventilation for each room. But that is years away. The town should have never put off building schools in stages to leave us now dealing with 3 schools having to be built at the same time. Especially with a 95 year old High School being built last and not having options of places to build because those options were taken away from the citizens of Watertown. My concerns are still there, safety for all.I have been requesting with others for freedom of information for a very long time. There is no transparency many people have been exposed to mold,mildew, poor ventilation and asbestos for decades it is still in buildings that the administration is not being open with the citizens. They keep doing facelifts to deteriorating buildings ,we were told back in 2017 after I blew the whistle not to put even a thumb tack into what was encapsulated and abated but yet anyways they drilled to install projectors and left debris behind for staff to come in and find it covering books and desks on white board ledges. A waste of over a half million dollars because of poor decisions being made. It is not right to put the lives of others in harms way. Trainings for maintenance and the knowledge of knowing that asbestos was even in the W.P.S did not happen until after 2017. Shame on administrators sitting on mandated A.H.E.R.A reports for over 18 months, while waiting to get W.H.S. Accredited, shame on administrators for not posting where asbestos is located. I am insisting on transparency and want the administrators to stop covering up. We are entitled to all of this information broken down individually building by building cost, and work done including abatement, encapsulation, disposal and company’s cost to put in new rugs (guidance) ,floors and anything to do with temporary appearances. I want the community to know all this information up until this current date and from the time that I reported them to (D.L.S) Department Of Labor And Standard. We are the citizens of Watertown and are entitled to this information under the Freedom Of Information Act.
    Mary Russo
    Citizen/Retired Teacher

  2. Watertown has buildings with asbestos and mold issues. There are no records on safe buildings prior to 2016 because WPS never complied with Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) and AHERA/asbestos regulation. Thankfully, Mary Russo reported the lack of records to the Massachusetts DLS. The Massachusetts DLS found that Watertown Public Schools was in excess weight of 20 violations for non-compliance in AHERA/asbestos monitoring. DLS gave WPS a written warning and forced compliance to basic regulation standards. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in asbestos abatements in the District. More to come for High School and Middle.

    “The abatement of hazardous materials, including asbestos, will begin on June 15 at Cunniff and on June 22 at Hosmer.”

    That’s why Watertown is getting new schools. Do not applaud the Town Council for this incredible opportunity with Net Zero schools. It was achieved out of necessity and not by years of planning, by forward thinking members. Students and staff have been exposed for 20+ years to asbestos, mold, and other hazardous materials.

    I encourage past students and faculty to fill out asbestos exposure forms on the MIAA website. Ask WPS for safety records during your time there. They don’t exist. If you ever get sick, only by filling out MIAA can Watertown be found liable.

    Steven Casella

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