Portland school building woes force classes to move

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PORTLAND — Maintenance problems at the aging West School on Douglass Street have forced the School Department to move its day treatment program to the former Cathedral School.

The department is also seeking a new home for adult education classes now based at West School.

As it did after a fire last September at Hall Elementary School, the School Department will rent Cathedral School from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which owns the Locust Street building.

“We are moving the students and staff in the day treatment program given deteriorating conditions in their part of the building,” Superintendent of Schools Emmanuel Caulk said in a prepared statement Monday. “We appreciate the Diocese’s willingness to rent to us again at short notice.”

The day treatment program, which can serve up to 40 students, made the move on Tuesday. For now, adult education programming at West School will remain there, official said, while the district explores suitable locations for those classes.

The West School was built in 1962. It’s problems include a roof that is beyond its lifespan, according to the School Department. Since the blizzard in early February, several rooms have had leaks and repairs have not held.

Additionally, the side of the building used by the day treatment program is sinking and would require significant stabilization efforts, school officials said.

Amber Cronin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or acronin@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @croninamber.