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Chelsea High to remain closed amid fly infestation

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press/File/Associated Press

Chelsea High School will remain closed Monday and Tuesday as administrators work into a second week to control a fly infestation caused by cracked pipes under the school’s foundation.

To fix the problem, engineers will have to cut through the concrete foundation and fix at least four broken or cracked pipes underneath, Chelsea Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mary Bourque wrote on the school district’s website.

The pipes underneath the school cover about 1½ acres.

The school had previously been closed on Thursday and Friday as administrators conducted a video investigation of the pipes.

“Now that we have diagnosed the cause of the problem, we are turning our attention to fixing it,” Bourque said in the statement. “Because of the structural nature of this work, our engineers have been working to develop a plan for cutting through the slab of concrete to get to the cracked pipes.”


Through an emergency bid process, the school got permission Friday to hire a contractor to cut through the concrete, fix the pipes, and restore the concrete to its original condition.

“The timeline I have laid out above depends upon the speed in which we can hire a contractor and how fast they can begin their work,” Bourque said. “While this was an unanticipated issue, it is making us rethink our annual maintenance plans to include a video investigation of pipes in all our schools as part of our regular procedures.”

Bourque said she will decide on Tuesday afternoon whether to keep the school closed on Wednesday. Chelsea High School will be closed for December recess from Dec. 26 to Jan. 3, according to the calendar on the website.

Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.