Dighton-Rehoboth High needs new roof, but plan still in limbo

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Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School needs a new roof. And it should have one, according to Dighton residents. But Rehoboth residents disagreed. The matter could finally get closer to being fixed later this month.

DIGHTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Ronda Lovell was born and raised in Dighton.

But she worries about the safety of her daughter, who’s currently a senior at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School.

“I’m very invested in the town. I stayed here because of the school system,” she said Friday.

The reason for her worry is the school’s roof. The roof at “D-R” had a 15-year life expectancy. It’s now 27 years old. The conditions even caused classes to be canceled after heavy snowfall in 2015.

“They shouldn’t have to take their lives into their own hands,” Lovell added, “not knowing if the roof is going to collapse at any point in time.”

The year before, in 2014, Dighton residents had voted, approving a multi-million-dollar plan to fix the roof. Rehoboth, however, narrowly rejected the plan, so it went into limbo.

Dighton’s Board of Selectmen agrees students’ safety is their main concern, according to board member Brett Zografos.

“The problem is only getting worse and worse, every day, every time it rains,” he said.

They tried again. Rehoboth was set to vote on a roof in a special town meeting earlier this month. But the Finance Committee moved to table the vote.

“That’s considered inaction,” said Zografos; It’s now “back to the regional school district to have the authority to fix the roof – really without Rehoboth’s say in it at this point,” he said.

Dighton-Rehoboth’s superintendent, Dr. Anthony Azar, completely supports the plan for a new roof. In a statement, he said it’s “in the best interest of our students and staff as well as the taxpayers.”

“Everyone agrees that the high school needs a new roof,” he continued. “Therefore, our message is loud and clear… Let’s get it done!”

Members of Rehoboth’s Board of Selectmen declined to comment on the story.

A meeting with officials from both towns and the school committee is slated to happen later this month.

“This is a serious problem, that we shouldn’t be kicking the can down the road anymore. We need to work together,” Zografos said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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