Clapp School Takes Its 'Skirt' Off
City prepares modular classrooms for removal.
Outside, the skirting is down around the perimeter of the nine modular units at the Clapp School.
Inside, divider walls have been built where portables met in the middle of the classrooms.
Tom Costello and Jim Hilton of Wickson Construction Co. in New Hampshire worked outside last week to put up plastic fencing around the perimeter of the portables to keep children out from under them.
If the forecast holds and it continues to rain, they’ll work inside, Hilton told Woburn Patch.
Costello and Hilton have built and installed divider walls between each of the now-connected portable units. The walls are used to anchor plastic wrap on what otherwise would be an open side of the rectangular structures when they are removed individually from the site, Hilton explained.
They still have to cut the spaghetti of wires and cables and ductwork that run through the ceilings of all of the units. First, NStar has to turn off the electrical power to the modular classrooms. Costello and Hilton need the electricity for light now, Hilton said.
The portables are being removed because they are no longer needed, since the Goodyear School opened in September. The Clapp School, with the attached modular units, had housed both Clapp and Goodyear School students while the new Goodyear was built.
Area residents challenged the placement of the portables adjacent to the Clapp School. They contend the land is park land and that the additional students worsened traffic congestion and parking near the school. The state attorney general reportedly agreed with the placement of the portables. State legislators passed a home rule petition requiring the school property to be used for recreation when the School Committee deems it unnecessary for educational purposes.
The School Committee plans to house students in the Clapp School during the next projected elementary school construction project, probably a combining of the Hurld and Wyman Schools. Committee members have said they expect that project to happen in about five years.
The full project to remove the portables and restore the land under them should take about four weeks, city building inspector Thomas Quinn told Woburn Patch last week.
Besides removing the modular units, the structure that connects them to the school will have to be demolished.