Referendum Work May Alter Spring Break


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SchoolCalendar-April2015You might not want to book your vacation for next year’s spring break just yet: This week’s Board of Education raised the prospect that it could be different from the dates now on the calendar.

The BOE held a brief, unscheduled meeting on Tuesday, largely to deal with new contracts for the 2014-2015 school year. But Joe Bellino, who heads the BOE’s Referendum Committee, said that the project’s architects have raised the possibility that the asbestos abatement at Verona High School planned for spring break will take longer than expected and that next year’s school calendar may be “adjusted”. The current calendar for the 2014-2015 school year calls for spring break to run from Monday, April 20 to Friday, April 24, 2015.

Almost all buildings built before 1970 have some form of asbestos in them, mostly as wrapping for heating pipes or in floor tiles. VHS, which opened in 1956, has both. The school’s heating system is being replaced under the referendum and all existing heating pipe coverings removed, which means that we’ve got to have a plan for dealing with the asbestos in them. No students or staff will be allowed in VHS while the work is being done and newer parts of the building without any asbestos may be sealed off with plastic curtains. Asbestos abatement work is monitored by the state and in-door air quality will be tested by environmental professionals before anyone is allowed back into the building.

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Bellino said today that it would be more cost effective to get all of the abatement done at one time, which is why the architects are trying to determine whether the five work days over spring break will be enough. He said the BOE could elect to move spring break up to coincide with Good Friday and Easter, which is the first weekend of April. Bellino indicated that a decision should be made after the next project review meeting on July 21.

You can watch the short meeting below:

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]



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