Exclusive: Interviews regarding building damage caused by the 2014-15 winter

Snowstorms caused a significant amount of damage in the New England region last winter. However, according to Senior Custodian Jim Mellett, the winter of 2014-15 did not cause more harm to the buildings of the high school than an average winter does.

Infographic by Haley Bayne

Snowstorms caused a significant amount of damage in the New England region last winter. However, according to Senior Custodian Jim Mellett, the winter of 2014-15 did not cause more harm to the buildings of the high school than an average winter does.

Erez Ben-Akiva, Website Manager

Q&A with Manager of Building Services Ed Clancy and Senior Custodian Jim Mellett regarding winter weather-related damage to the buildings of the high school. The following interviews have been condensed and edited for grammar and clarity.

Did the building suffer any damages from last year’s winter?

Jim Mellett: There was extremely limited damage. There was no more than any other year. There were a couple of roof leaks, but that’s normal every winter. Probably the biggest thing we had was damage to one of the skylights over the UA building. We had a little damage to that which caused a leak into the auto shop. Other than that, the quadrangle got torn up a bit because of the plows.

Ed Clancy: Last year we had to take preventative measures by having a company come out and shovel off the flat roofs, which is something we typically don’t do in a regular year.

Jim Mellett: We had so much snow that we needed to get some of the weight off, but there was no damage because of that.

 

Were the damages fixed last year or are some currently still in the process of being fixed?

Jim Mellett: Everything was repaired in the spring.

 

Has there been any building damage this winter?

Jim Mellett: There has been nothing yet.

Ed Clancy:  You have your occasional roof leaks, but that happens regardless of the season.

 

Are roof leaks a common occurrence?

Ed Clancy: It happens often. It’s the regular wear and tear of a building. Once you fix a leak here, it diverts the water to somewhere else so if it’s not tight, it finds its way in somehow. We keep the roofers pretty busy.

 

Is it difficult to fix the leaks and do other jobs of the sort?

Ed Clancy: The hardest part is finding the source of where the leak is coming in. You could have a leak on one end of the building, but when it comes inside the building, because it finds the lowest spot, it could be three classrooms down from where the original leak is on the ceiling. The hardest part is tracing where the source is.

Jim Mellett: One of the biggest safety issues we had last year was with the old greenhouse and the new greenhouse, which was in the director’s circle. Because the roof was slanted, there was so much snow on it, and it would melt and shift and then freeze again, so we had stuff hanging off it. We had a good section of the driveway leading up to the large archway blocked off for a couple days because was just getting ready to fall. We had to get a company come with a cherry picker, get up there and use a rake to get everything off because we couldn’t get at it.

Ed Clancy: That would have killed someone if it came down.

Jim Mellett: If you were walking under there and you got hit with a couple of those chunks, it would ruin your day. We had a smaller issue on the lower greenhouse which wasn’t as bad because the snow was not falling from three stories.

Ed Clancy: It would come down onto the sidewalk, and you would just have to have that plowed out.

Jim Mellett: We just blocked the sidewalk off and went from there. That was really the only safety issues that we encountered last year, and this year, so far. Keep your fingers crossed.