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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.


  • schoolmama

    My daughter attends Amherst Regional Middle School & she reported that floors were so slippery there this afternoon that kids were falling while on the way to class. One hallway had to be closed it was so wet & kids had to walk around the other side of the building to get to class. Don’t know if there were any serious injuries. All the bus drivers were called in at some point this afternoon to try to mop floors, but there was still quite a bit of moisture when I arrived at school toward 4 PM to pick her up after her practice. Pretty sad that we’re using a snow day this early in the season to cover a building system malfunction. This on top of the district not having bus schedules printed in the local paper before the start of the school year makes the district look pretty shabby. Where are the priorities here?

    • sab01375

      My daughter goes to Sunderland. They had the same problem today with kids falling on the floors. Her school called to give a heads up that they are thinking of canceling school. Should know for sure in the next hour. I don’t understand why the schools do not have AC. Running floor fans I think would cost a decent amount, so why not just pay the little extra and actual cool the building down instead of a small box fan on the floor that NO one will feel.

    • High Taxes

      It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard of. School floors always were waxed in the past and schools had no a/c. It must be a bad floor wax product that was purchased.

  • doggone

    Don’t recall a/c in the schools when I was a kid.

  • HebertsRCS

    As a Carpet Floor Care Specialist and the own of a company that strips and refinishes many schools thought out New England.

    Finish does not melt due to excessive heat, it cannot melt or re liquify due to heat. If the floors are slippery there are only a few reason for this, wet or very moist floor because of hydrostatic issues under the VCT, building had excessive moisture in it someone spilled water on the floors.

    My guess is the floors were not burnished after they were refinished to insure the slip resistance co efficiency was met, or a inappropriate finish was used for that setting.

    We have seen many slip and fall issues when floor cares staffs were not properly trained in the field