A Successful Move for Third Graders

March 14, 2014
by Barbara O’Brien

Windham Superintendent Winfried Feneberg says that he has received nothing but positive feedback following the move of four third-grade classes into space at Windham High School.

The move up the hill to the high school, on Monday, March 3, was necessitated by the discovery of mold and mildew in the space above the ceiling in some of the portable classrooms where first graders were housed at Golden Brook School.  Golden Brook is home to students in kindergarten through third grade.  Not wanting to transfer first-graders up to the high school, school administrators opted to move the third-graders from Golden Brook to the nearly five-year-old high school.  The rest of the third-grade students remained at Windham’s Center School.

School officials had already been aware of the mold and mildew problem, caused by leaking roofs, but had thought the issue was remedied this past summer when some renovations were made.  Air quality tests were done monthly, all of which showed the air in the portable classrooms was at acceptable levels, with fewer pollutants than existed outside the building.

This past month, however, new leaks were discovered, which, subsequently, led to the discovery of small patches of mildew in the space above the drop-style ceiling.

Following the students move to the high school earlier this month, Feneberg said he had seen nothing but excited third-graders and dedicated staff members who were comfortable in their new surroundings.

As for the move itself, “everyone pitched in,” Feneberg said, with staff members from all grade levels helping out.  “It was a very productive day,” he said.  An open house for parents and their third-graders was held the day prior to the relocation; an event that was well attended and well received, Feneberg said.

As for the “host” facility, Feneberg said the high school staff and students were “very welcoming”; many of whom cheered and displayed signs, as they greeted the buses carrying the third-graders on their first day at Windham High School.  “It was a very warm experience,” he added.

As for the portable classrooms, the investigation into the extent of the mold and mildew problem continues, after which costs for renovations will be estimated.