According to district records, roof work at PRHS occurred forty-seven days while building was occupied

Written by Jeff Epstein, editor of Citizens’ Media TV

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LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NJ – According to public records obtained by Citizens’ Media TV, roof work occurred on top of Pinelands Regional High School on forty-seven separate days while the building was occupied. On each of these days, the average amount of time that roofwork overlapped with the building being occupied, was five hours and twenty minutes. This practice is in direct contradiction with the roofing contract and a clear health hazard. (Here is an overview of the project, and Citizens’ Media TV’s full coverage of the story.)

It is possible that forty-seven days is an overestimation, because some of these activities may have been moved out of the high school building after conditions were complained about. It is also possible to be an underestimation, due to a number of factors:

  • In our calculation, we did not consider official district events occurring before the school year, such as summer school.
  • We also did not consider district employees that work in the high school building at all times, such as main office, maintenance, and janitorial staff.
  • During the school year, teachers are contracted to arrive by 7:15 AM and leave no earlier than 2:30 PM. However, teachers commonly go in early and stay late, and also prepare their classroom sometimes up to a week before the school year begins.
  • Many daily reports do not include the hours during which work occurred.
  • A significant amount of daily reports are simply missing, particularly during the first month of the school year.

Work occurring during school hours (specifically during the months of September and October) has already been acknowledged through public statements made by numerous parents, the project management contractor, and all fifteen teachers whose classrooms are located in the “D wing.” The roof on top of the D wing is where the most asbestos containing material was detected.

Regarding the project management company: In this article, Chuck Romanoli of New Road Construction, the company tasked with supervising the entire project, openly acknowledged a contradiction: First, that students were in school and the ventilation system was required to be open and on because they were in school. And second, that construction was indeed occurring on the roof during this time, despite the fact that the ventilation system is required to be closed and off – and that the school must be completely unoccupied – at all times while work is occurring on the roof.

Regarding teachers: Finally, here is a statement by Mel Reid, president of the teachers’ union, as read to the Board of Education on December 13th, 2017:

INFORMATIONAL STATEMENT FOR PINELANDS REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND BOARD OF EDUCATION

Since doubt concerning rooftop activity exists among the Pinelands Regional School District Administration and Board of Education, collectively the teachers assigned to the D-Wing section of the High School would like to make the following statement so that you can be informed:

“Rooftop activity definitively occurred on the roof over the D-Wing during the time that we occupied our classrooms from September 11 through September 29, 2017. We know that rooftop activity occurred because we have each experienced one or more of the following: hearing the sound of footsteps overhead, loud bangs that would startle us and our students, forceful thumps that would be followed up by the sound of construction debris falling on to the drop ceiling overhead, construction dust and debris that would enter and cover items in the classroom, tar-like substances could be found inside the classroom, tar-like and chemical odors would be present, vibrations from machinery would cause our drop-ceiling tiles to shake, vibrations would disrupt our lessons because our projectors would shake to an extent that it was impossible to read projected text, and we personally witnessed forklifts being employed to hoist construction materials up to the rooftop over D-Wing. In our minds there is absolutely no doubt that rooftop activity was occurring over the D-Wing section of the High School building during the previously mentioned time period.”

There are 15 certified teachers that were assigned to teach in the D-Wing for the first quarter of school-year 2017-18. Each and every one of them contributed to the content of this statement. After reading the above statement, unanimously the teachers agreed that the content is true, and that they wish to have it read at the Board of Education meeting on December 13, 2017.

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How we determined 47 days

This information was discovered by cross referencing the district’s 2017-2018 school calendar (original link) and facilities use requests with all of the start and end times as documented in the contractor’s daily reports.

We specifically determined this by putting all of the facilities use requests information (between the dates of June 19 and October 15) into this spreadsheet. We then duplicated this information into a second spreadsheet and added in the start and end times from every available daily report. Finally, all items that did not have any overlap were eliminated. (In other words, spreadsheet one is the “raw“ information containing all facilities use requests, spreadsheet two contains only those activities that overlap with roofwork.)

An example of this overlap is next section.

Here is a chart demonstrating how roofwork overlapped with school days during the months of September and October:

All start and end times from construction daily reports, plus the 2017-2018 school year calendar from September 4th through October 15th. Chart from this article

Overlap example

According to these two daily reports from July 26th, work occurred between the hours of 5 AM and 4:30 PM (this was one of the rare occurrences where we received two daily reports in a single day):

Work hours from two separate daily reports. July 26 A and July 26 B

Here are four (of the nine) activities in the high school building that took place at this same date and time: July 26 between the hours of 5 AM and 4:30 PM:

http://imgur.com/JmvKi0j.jpg

http://imgur.com/LZEHnD0.jpg

This information was put into the “second” facilities use request spreadsheet:

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