‘Embarrassing': Lowell Officials Address Concerns About School Buildings

The chair of Lowell's Board of Health says none of the problems will be fixed until they have a new school

Frustration is growing in Lowell, Massachusetts, over long-running concerns about the city's school buildings.

From poor ceilings to a shoddy roof, Lowell High School students say they've seen it all.

The mice even have their own names.

“We had a Stuart Jr. because the mice just kept coming in,” one student said.

“The ceiling tiles always fall down, like last year in my history class,” the student said. "And whenever it snowed and it melted, there’d always be a flood of water in the room.”

The student adds that the temperatures vary in the classrooms.

“Today my English class was 105," he said. "And you’ll have some that’ll be like 56.”

Another student says the classrooms are cold.

"Extremely cold, like 30 degrees,” she said.

Lowell officials say these problems affect each of the 27 schools in the district.

“We can’t blame the past, we can’t look at the past, we have to look at the future," one woman said.

Disgruntled parents say they are sick of repetitive problems potentially plaguing their children's education.

“There has to be a way for him to learn and he’s not getting that at this point,” one woman said about her son.

Parents voiced their frustration Wednesday night with the Board of Health and city officials.

“Kids play Lowell High sports and they’re supposed to be proud of their school and they have rain in the gym and they have 30 degree classes and they have mice running across their feet? Come on! Embarrassing!” one father said.

Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue started the job in April and she says, “We have been working constantly in the schools since I arrived.”

“There’s no one more frustrated than I am,” Donoghue added.

The teacher's union, parents and students want improvements immediately.

“The status quo is not acceptable to us as teachers, as union officials or as parents and we want a change, we want to see a change in that immediately,” one woman said.

JoAnn Keegan, the chair of Lowell's Board of Health, says none of the problems will be fixed until they have a new school.

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