By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
While Amvet Boulevard School officials continue efforts to fund a new playground, some parents are asking why building repairs aren’t getting the same level of attention.
In a letter sent by “a couple of concerned fourth and fifth-grade parents” to media and School Superintendent John Antonucci, the question was asked why a similar effort isn’t being made to fund repairs to the school’s roof.
“The roof at Amvet School is leaking,” the letter read. “The condition of the bathrooms is another thing that needs to be addressed; they are in complete disrepair.”
Amvet School Principal Kristine Kefor deferred comment to Antonucci, who said that repairs such as the roof are capital projects. While an estimate has not yet been done, the replacement of the Community School roof cost approximately $1 million. Typically, work like this is paid for through Free Cash or similar sources as part of an annual list of capital projects.
The superintendent added that contractors have been to the school over the last two months to assess the damage. Repairs can be paid for through the annual budget, though not the complete replacement.
“The fact of the matter is we have several old facilities in North Attleborough and getting them improved is a top priority of mine, but that’s a long-term priority,” he said.
The playground in question has been a long-term goal and earlier this month, a committee was formed to lead the project. The school currently has no playground, and the committee plans to use a section of field—around which there is a walking track—for the new one. Fundraising is under way, and it is estimated that the new playground would cost $200,000.
The committee is giving itself until the end of 2022 to finish fundraising. What is collected, even it falls below the $200,000 goal, will go to the new playground. A groundbreaking is planned for the spring or summer of 2023, with the finished structure to be ready when the children return in the fall.
In the letter, parents expressed their frustration that so much was being done to promote and build a new playground and similar steps should be taken for the roof. The group doesn’t oppose the playground, but believes that the roof should be done first. The letter closes by asking that the School Committee tour the Amvet School to see the full scope of the damage, and that fundraising for the playground be stopped until work on the roof is completed.
“While our children would love a playground, our kids also deserve to learn in an environment that is safe, warm and dry,” the letter reads. “That is not happening at this moment in time.”