Town of Amherst looking to build 2 new schools

12 teachers requested a transfer from Fort River and Wildwood, due to health concerns.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst, wants to demolish two of its elementary schools because of mold, leaky roofs and hallways that aren’t handicapped accessible.

Staff members at the Fort River Elementary School say the building is in such bad shape, that it isn’t safe. Now they want action.

Add mold and leaky ceilings to the list of problems at both Wildwood and Fort River Elementary Schools in Amherst. Teachers complained both buildings, also aren’t ADA compliant.

“For some students with disabilities they actually have to use the adult bathroom, instead of the bathrooms that is close to them. So we have students with disabilities going well far away from where their classrooms is and that makes us feel really uncomfortable, as a district,” said Acting Superintendent Dr. Michael Morris.

Morris told 22News, 12 teachers requested a transfer from Fort River and Wildwood, due to health concerns.

“Our teachers at both schools rated Fort River and Wildwood to be in the bottom 10% of all elementary schools in Massachusetts, in terms of the environmental health,” said Morris.

He said both buildings are far beyond repairs. The plan is knock them down, and build one new building that would house both schools. It would cost $67 million.

The state would pay for 51-percent of that and the town of Amherst would be responsible for more than $32-million, a price this parent said is worth every penny.

“It’s something that should be important to everyone in the town, that our kids have a safe update school,” said Christa Smith.

Residents still need to approve the new energy efficient school.

Two votes are scheduled in the coming months. If approved, construction would start next fall.

If passed, the goal is to have both schools completed by the 2020 school year.