Memorial School Closed Next Week

Due to flooding damage, Memorial Middle School will not open on Tuesday when other district schools start classes

The first day of school for Memorial Middle School students will come a week or more later than the rest of the district this year, superintendent Bruce Watson confirmed Thursday.

Watson said water was up to the ceiling of the boiler room and into parts of the auditorium when he inspected the building Wednesday. The good news, he said, was that it had not penetrated hallways, classrooms or the school's gym.

Watson said he sent out automated phone calls to Memorial School parents last night informing them of his decision to delay opening the school, and will continue sending daily status updates until the water issue is resolved.

“They’re going to be informed,” Watson said of Memorial parents. “What we did today, what contractors did we use, did the water get pumped out, did PSE&G turn the electric back on, has it been cleaned? Everything we do I’m going to keep the community updated so the school is not just sitting there.”

PSE&G disconnected service from outside the building Thursday so crews could enter the boiler room and basement areas to pump out more than six feet of water.

Once the water is removed, Watson said that a recovery team will enter to inspect, clean and dry all electrical connections, conduit lines and contacts.

After the clean-up and disinfectant process is deemed complete, the power will be restored and air monitoring for spores and mold will begin.

Pending a successful health inspection, Memorial’s first day of school will be Monday, Sept. 12, which Watson called a “very aggressive,” timeline given the extensive amount of work required.

He said that if Memorial students miss only the four days they’re expected to, that they would not likely need to make them up later in the year. If the school’s opening is delayed beyond next week, however, make-up time is a possibility.

Memorial teachers, on the other hand, will not enjoy the potential luxury of an extended summer break. Watson said Memorial teachers will work at other schools throughout the week, many focused on the district-wide curricular realignment necessary to meet new national education standards.

While he said he’d rather not have had it happen this way, Watson called it an “automatic” that Memorial teachers would get started tackling the curricular updates during their time off.

“This is something that we’re going to take advantage of,” he said.

District teachers and supervisors began working on curricular realignment this summer and will continue during the school year. Had Memorial’s opening not been delayed, teachers there would have had to find time to work on curricular updates at various points throughout the year.

MT September 04, 2011 at 01:00 AM
No Mr. Joe I don't claim to be an expert, I just use common sense. The river flooded. The school is right next to the river. Additionally, I'm not sure if you're aware, but numerous other places along the river that had never flooded before also received damage. Also, I took a ride by the pool. The portion of fence on the road into the park is pushed in, toward the pool, not out towards the school. Common sense tells me that the water and debris that broke the fence came at the pool from the river not vice versa.
Joe September 04, 2011 at 03:13 PM
There is going to people already asking for an investigation on this incident. Answers to alot of questions must be brought forward to all involved, and once again the children of Fair Lawn are in jeopardy ....Stay tuned!
Stuart Pace September 04, 2011 at 03:33 PM
If you look at an aerial view of the Passaic River and the Memorial Park, the river makes a C shaped turn around the area. Empty pool or not, that river wanted to go straight, and straight meant right thru that neighborhood. Mother Nature wins that battle everytime.
Care about my kids education September 04, 2011 at 04:16 PM
I don't understand what you are saying Joe. To me, the pool has nothing to do with this flood. The amount of water coming through this area was unprecedented. The water would have come through the pool drainage system to begin with. Remember the initial flood waters receded before the school ever was in danger. It was the secondary flood that caused the issues. As far as the school is concerned, obviously the water flowed from the school towards the pool not the other way. History shows the river has flooded the school before as well. I don't understand this "investigation" you are talking about. I don't think anyone has ever talked about endangering the children. You are starting problems before they are there and you are mixing up town responsibilities and school responsibilities. Nothing the town or school did caused this. Nature did this.
Joe September 04, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Evelyn "common sense" is what this towm lacks!!! They the administration is worried for upsetting those precous spoiled voters who sit in Memorial pool who live on the other outskirts of Fair Lawn (not worrying what happens on this side) WELL MS MAYOR and MR ENGINEER "YOU CAN bring those same people back to the pool this weekend and have a margherita with them...... YOU FAILED US, and i dont see your basement flooded either!


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