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Humidity, Slippery Floors Cause Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools to Close

amherstAMHERST, Mass. (AP)/WGGB –While it is a sweaty, sticky summer day outside, inside, the halls of Amherst Regional Public Schools are empty. However, weather was the reason Superintendent Maria Geryk decided to cancel school.

Like you may have been at that age, Lance Harrington was glad to hear it. “Oh thank God, because I had a lot of homework, and it was like 11 o’clock at night, and I hadn’t started it yet, really,” he said.

It was around that time lance says the superintendent sent an email, saying they’d probably cancel school because of the humidity.

The floors in schools across the district had been recently waxed.

Wednesday’s intense heat and humidity caused that wax to break down, which sent folks slipping and sliding.

The schools don’t all have air conditioning in every room. “I’d rather have ac in the school because yesterday, it was so humid, that some of the classes were so humid, and we had to go to the library,” shared Senior Sophie Marciano.

Principal of Amherst Regional Public High School Mark Jackson says that the reason they chose to close schools was because of safety.  “In a number of schools, there were serious falls. For people who are on the outside, not having to ask the question of ‘How do I take care of 5,000 people?’ isn’t a part of anybody’s day, it seems less bizarre,” he stated.

According to Principal Jackson, they’ve never had to close the schools for this reason.

He says about 20 people fell, and it’s unclear if they were injured.

Even though the weather is supposed to break, of course, students remain hopeful that school will be closed tomorrow.

Some are, anyway. “Since I’m a senior, I’m excited that I don’t have to make it up. I think a lot of kids are upset about it since they’ve already got to make up a snow day already,” added Marciano.

As for getting all of the schools air conditioning, Principal Jackson says it’s a budget issue, and the funds might be hard to come by.

Superintendent Maria Geryk made the decision to close the schools. The district serves children from Amherst, Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury.


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