Building Preservation Efforts Underway at FHS
Considering that there were no building permits or construction inspections in 1906, the high school building that Henry H. Rogers built for his home town has held up very well, but after 110 years it began to show some signs of wear and tear. The Fairhaven School Committee, under the leadership of Supt of Schools Robert Baldwin and currently Superintendent Tara Kohler, has engaged the services of preservation expert Lynne Spencer and her Spencer Preservation Group to advise the School Committee on the preservation needs of the building, as well as the anticipated costs. Since 2011 the School Committee has used budgeted funds, as well as monies from the Rogers Trust Fund gifted to the town annually, to tackle many of the issues such as window restoration, gutters and flashing, fire escapes, as well as the replacement of the Guastavino tile ceilings on the east and west front porticos.
This past June the School Committee was granted $2.274 million to tackle Phase I of a five year project to tackle the large issues that are facing the building. You may view the six minute video presentation that was shown to the Town Meeting members at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/... Phase I will involve repairing and restoring the upper portion of the southeast gable (upper right in the photo) where water has finally managed to penetrate the masonry of the structure and caused oxidation of the steel that supports the building. The upper portion of that gable needs to be dismantled, the steel examined in full and replaced where needed.
The succeeding phases will involve the other gables on the building being examined and repaired in the same manner as Phase I, and last phase will be the main slate roof, which could take as long as five years. Fortunately the Town of Fairhaven appreciates this beautiful and historical gift from our town benefactor, and has demonstrated that they will support the Fairhaven School in their efforts to restore and preserve this magnificent structure.