(Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Feb. 9, 1947 issue of the Sunday Dispatch)
In direct conflict with a statement made by John J. Reilly, architect and engineer and former Pittston Mayor, Thomas J. Hennigan, secretary of the School Board, stated at a meeting of the Pittston School Board Friday night that it is unlikely that the Pittston high school building will be reopened before May.
Reilly in his report said that the repair work being done by the General Contractor Thomas Flanagan is 90 per cent complete with completion set for March 21. Hennigan said: “I have been in that school more times than Reilly since repairs started” and intimated that Reilly was not too familiar with how far the work has progressed. Hennigan failed to elaborate on a statement that “things happened at the school that should not be made public.”
Director Stanley Osiecki also had his say in the matter and said an investigation should be made to see why the painting work is being slowed up. It was the consensus of some members that the painters have insufficient help primarily because they are working wanted to make the job last.
Nevertheless, Joseph Walsh, plumbing and heating contractor, was present and said his part of the contract was 98 per cent complete on plumbing and 95 per cent complete on heating. Vincent Churchfield reported electrical work 75 per cent complete with completion set for March 10.
Throughout all this, Emmett Carroll chairman, sat and mused. Later he said, “All the way through, this high school repair deal has been the Bunko” and aired his views on the matter.
Hennigan said a hundred and one things have to be inspected before the building is marked completed and before the State Inspectors come in to approve or disapprove. Nevertheless, he admitted that he has prepared tickets for a band concert to be held at the high school auditorium on May 3.
Considerable work has been done by all contractors since repair work started in April 1946, on the high school building which was damaged by mine settlings three years earlier. An idea of the work can be had from the following list of materials put into the school by the General Contractor:
480 bags of plaster, 2 tons of nails, 15,000 square feet of common lumber, 540 bags of white rock, 1500 bags of cement, 8000 square feet of flooring, 2000 square feet of yellow pine, 4 tons of structural steel, 4500 gallons of paint, 80,000 square feet of ply roofing, 30,000 square feet of roof insulation, 12,000 lineal feet of molding, 1248 square feet of D.S. Glass, 40 New Doors, 800 pounds of Putty, 250 tons of gravel, 12,000 Red Bricks, 10 tons of cement, 300 steel safety treads, 225 tons of sand, 5 tons of red building stone.
The work done included a new roof, new insulation, new smoke screens, new concrete wall in the rear of the school, new ash hoist, and new stairways to roof. The structural steel was used to strengthen the building from the basement to the roof.
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