School Superintendent Dr. Greg Maass will hold another meeting with neighbors of the Glover School Thursday night to discuss their claims of damage to their homes that they say was caused by the blasting at the site of the new school building.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Village School.
At the meeting two weeks ago, the superintendent promised to advocate for the homeowners personally with the blasting contractor, the general contractor and the insurance companies for the blasting contractor and for the school district.
Maass said there is no “blueprint” for the school district to aid those homeowners whose homes have been damaged and the school district does not have the funds to pay the claims.
More than 20 neighbors along Alden, Columbia, Homestead Roads and Tedesco Street have filed claims against the blasting company, Maine Drilling and Blasting. Most of the houses where the owners say they now have cracks and other problems are on the same ledge formation as that of the school, but many of them are outside a 250-foot radius from the blast site, which is supposed to be the potential damage zone.
To build the foundation for the new $25 million school, the construction company had to blast away a substantial amount of rock.
The blasting company, after a post-blast inspection of the homes, sent the homeowners a form letter denying their claims and suggesting that they file a claim with their personal homeowners' insurance company.
“I don't think it is right that I should have to file with my insurance company. I am not happy with it,” said Tom Mealey, a neighbor. All of the neighbors who attended expressed frustration with the blasting company's response and the slow action to resolve their claims.
Maass, who has been consulting with the town's attorney on the blasting issue, gave each of the neighbors a claim form that he asked them to fill out and bring to him personally by next Thursday.
He promised to take each of the forms to the school construction contractor, G&R Construction Co. of Quincy, and to the insurance company for Maine Drilling and Blasting, which he said would be difficult. And he plans to present the claims to the school district's insurance company.
Richard Nohelty, a school committee member who heads the Glover School Building Committee, joined Maass in meeting with the neighbors. He said the school district is not in a position to pay for the damages to the homes.
And under Massachusetts law, the school district is limited in what it can do to help the neighbors.
“We don't have the ability to step outside the process,” Maass said.
The process, under state law, is to file a claim with the company and with the Marblehead Fire Department, which issued the permits for the blasting and assigned a fireman to oversee the actual blasting.
The last blast was on Jan. 8, although project manager Chuck Adam said there is always a possibility that more blasting may be required.