hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

February 13, 2014

12 years old, but just like new

Nettle's secret: Jumping on repairs quickly

It’s been 12 years since Nettle Middle School was rebuilt with $17 million from the state.

But state officials say it’s still looking and acting like it did when the job was completed.

What is the secret to keeping Nettle in such good shape when other public buildings sometimes deteriorate in the period of a decade and then need major repairs?

The key is jumping on small problems before they become big ones, school officials said.

Whether it’s a leaky roof or a leaky boiler, problems at the Nettle are quickly fixed, officials said. It’s part of the school’s successful maintenance program that keeps it looking and operating like new 12 years after its reconstruction.

The Nettle was recently visited by David Troughton, regional assistance director for the Northeast District & School Assistance Center at the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Troughton told Nettle Principal Mike Rossi that he was impressed with the condition of the school, which appeared to be “like new,” he said.

“The school secretary took me from the front office to the library and the library was spacious,” Troughton said. “A staff meeting was underway in the library and groups of teachers were working at tables throughout the library. I saw attractive displays of student work and there was an obvious pride in the school. The dismissal was orderly. Despite the snow and cold weather, the walkways were shoveled and sand was in place on icy spots.”

Troughton’s center helps communities and their schools use professional development to improve instruction and raise achievement for students.

Tom Geary, supervisor of facilities for Haverhill schools, said the key to keeping Nettle and other school buildings in good shape is keeping an eye out for problems and reporting them immediately.

Geary said Nettle custodians follow specific building maintenance procedures that include periodic inspections of roofs, basements, heating and cooling systems, windows, doors and the grounds. He said they look for deficiencies such as a door that isn’t working properly, a roof that’s leaking and inoperative lighting fixtures.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
School News
  • 140415_HG_MSC_ROBOT_4

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Jazzy Brown, 4, of Haverhill, works with a a Robot named Connor as Behavior Specialist Julie Bernier looks on, during an interactive session at the Moody School in Haverhill.

    Their best friend's a robot Posted 2 days ago 5 Photos
  • City's kids are staying in school Posted 37 days ago
  • 140310_ET_RHU_SCOUTS_003

    Bill Cantwell, Haverhill editor of The Eagle-Tribune and editor of The Haverhill Gazette, shows the Cub Scouts of Den 6 Pack 24, Sacred Hearts Parish, Bradford, around the newsroom of The Eagle-Tribune offices and explains how the newspaper is put together. RYAN HUTTON/ Staff photo

    'Cub' reporters learn how the newsroom works Posted 37 days ago 3 Photos
  • Work on new school escalates Posted 44 days ago
  • 140303_ET_RHU_SEUSS_006

    First-graders Ainsley Rousseau, left, and Isabelle Leger, both 7, eat their plates of green eggs and ham and cake.

    A taste of green eggs and ham Posted 44 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • 140212_ET_RHU_ROBOT_002

    RYAN HUTTON/Staff photo Nicholas Berube, left, 14, fits a plexiglass cover over the electronics of the Whittier team's robot as teammate Grant Montecalro, 15, looks on.

    A boost from NASA Posted 51 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, February 20, 2014
  • 140213_HG_HAND_SEYMOUR_1

    Courtesy photo Whittier Regional High junior Kylie Seymour carries the American flag during the Parade of Nations at the annual World Tap Championships in Germany.

    She's got the beat! Posted 58 days ago 3 Photos
  • NECC employees honored for service Posted 58 days ago
  • 140213_hg_hand_augusto

    HANDOUT PHOTO Northern Essex Community College student Angel Augusto shows his Class of 2014 T-shirt design that won a contest at the school.

    Meet a graduating 'super hero' Posted 58 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

Photos of the Week
Stocks