Orange Elementary School to Remain Closed Through End of Year

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    The Peck Place Elementary School in Orange is closed for the remainder of the school year due to asbestos problems caused by flooding.

    The Orange elementary school plagued by flooding and asbestos problems will remain closed for the rest of the year, according to school superintendent Lynn K. McMullin.

    The announcement came in the form of a letter to parents dated Jan. 21. In the letter, McMullin writes that school will be held at Yale’s West Campus for the rest of the school year.

    Problems arose in early January when a custodian arrived at school to find the building had flooded. That water caused floor tiles to pop, releasing asbestos from the mastic used to adhere the tiles to the floor.

    Teachers and students were temporarily moved to the Race Brook and Turkey Hill schools and will be transferred to Yale’s West Campus on the Orange/West Haven town line.

    Fire marshals checked the building last week and are working to make the area safe for young children.

    “This move is so much more complicated than just packing up the curriculum and furniture,” McMullin wrote in the letter. “Exit signs need to be lowered; we needed to bring in bottled water and a PA system; the doors all needed panic bar installations. There are more permits than anyone ever imagined.”

    McMullin said an official move-in date will be announced Friday afternoon, but that school equipment and supplies will be moved over Thursday through Saturday of this week. On Monday, teachers will unpack and organize their classrooms, and the school will bring in substitute teachers to help out at Race Brook and Turkey Hill.

    “The Peck facility is still completely closed and off-limits,” McMullin wrote. “Please don’t visit. One section of the building is abated and was being air-quality tested today.”

    McMullin said the move will allow crews to get a head start on a Peck school roof project planned for the summer.