High school bleachers to remain closed

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High School Bleacher closed
The bleachers at the Raymond Beaupre field were closed earlier this month after a structural survey found it was not safe to be used. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

 

Administration will look into costs for repairs vs. replacement

The bleachers at North Attleborough High School’s Raymond Beaupre field will be closed while a cost analysis is done on whether to repair or replace them.

The bleachers were closed in early June following a structural analysis by Odeh Engineering. In its report, the engineering firm determined that the bleachers had “a high probability of failure,” said Superintendent Scott Holcomb at a recent School Committee meeting. He added that his office had received a number of comments between November and January as to the safety of the bleachers and that some repair work had been done.

“We’ve got a long road ahead of us to figure out what to do,” said Holcomb at the June 10 meeting.

The report from Odeh was received on June 3, and an emergency meeting was held immediately, according to Holcomb. The closure of the bleachers led to a relocation for the June 7 NAHS graduation ceremony to the field behind the Community School. Holcomb said it wasn’t just the boards that needed to be replaced, but the entire support structure was also found to be at risk. 

“They [Odeh Engineering] found the substructure was non-durable and had a high probability of failure,” said Holcomb. 

The repairs to the bleacher are but one of many projects on the school’s ‘to-do’ list. Recently, a room at the Amvet Boulevard School was closed after leaks in the roof caused mold to grow. Other schools have reported leaks in the roof and an in-depth review is being done on all the buildings. A feasibility study is planned to create a list of the work that needs to be done. Committee member Ethan Hamilton was concerned that the bleachers would not end up being the first repair project to be done. 

“We don’t know where this falls on our list of priorities until we get the study done,” said Hamilton.

Temporary bleachers could be installed, but Student Services Director Kyle Kummer said work on the site itself would also be needed. Holcomb said the field the bleachers surround is used year-round by several town organizations. 

“The community can rest assured that it is being addressed,” said Holcomb. “I think it’s a town asset.”