PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Teachers Union is raising concerns after images of significant leaking at Mount Pleasant High School have been creating a buzz on social media.
The school has been under construction for months and in order to use the front door, visitors must walk through a plywood tunnel as scaffolding towers above.
But despite all the work, a teacher at the school shared a photo of trash cans in a hallway catching water dripping from light fixtures during the height of Tuesday’s storms. Another image shows a portion of the gymnasium floor warped by flood waters.
“It’s unacceptable,” union president Maribeth Calabro said Wednesday. “We’ve only been in school for eight days. To have this significant water infiltration in the school, after we’ve spent I don’t even know how many millions that have already been spent in that building to have it fixed. It’s just ridiculous.”
Eyewitness News reached out to the city’s school department, which directed us to Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office. A spokesperson for the mayor said upon learning about the situation, they immediately sent a team over to the school to fix the leaks and clean up the resulting mess.
Elorza’s office said they also directed the contractor to re-layer the roof. Crews were seen doing that on Wednesday but Calabro said she’s frustrated that there isn’t a procedure in place for this type of emergency.
Mount Pleasant students were not in class Wednesday due to Yom Kippur. Calabro said she hopes that once they return on Thursday, this won’t happen again.
“I think it’s important that our kids go to schools that are safe, clean, inviting and welcoming so that they can learn in a welcoming environment,” Calabro said.
In November, Providence voters will have two questions on the ballot regarding school infrastructure. The first asks voters to allow the state to borrow $250 million for repairs at schools across Rhode Island while the second is focused on the capital city, seeking approval of a $160 million bond for building improvements.