Charter School to Open after Lead Paint Removed

Pottsville, PA - Aug. 4, 2011 -- The City of Pottsville gave Gillingham Charter School permission this week to begin removing lead paint from its 116-year-old building, and a Gillingham representative said Wednesday the school will open Sept. 6.

Gillingham, however, has not yet submitted its plans to renovate the historic St. John the Baptist school building at 915 Howard Ave., and the city will not issue any other building permits until those plans are approved, city Code Enforcement Officer Donald J. Chescavage said Wednesday.

"No other work can take place to the building until that lead paint abatement is complete and it's verified that the building is lead-free and it is safe for occupancy. That depends on how much of a job it is, could be two weeks. It's hard to say," Chescavage said.

Nicolle M. Hutchinson, Pottsville, who was named Gillingham's director of education/chief executive officer July 26, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

This week, representatives of the Gillingham Charter School Board of Trustees purchased a building permit for $270 from the city to allow Roe Environmental Inc., Glen Mills, Delaware County, to do the lead paint removal, according to Diane Fiorillo, secretary for city code enforcement and health departments.

Chescavage said he isn't sure how much lead paint must be removed from the building, but said Gillingham is paying Roe Environmental $25,000 for the job.