School superintendent Patricia Ruane and several members of the school committee attended the
meeting of the Hopedale Board of Selectmen on April 17, 2007 to discuss the problem of the leak in
the cupola at the high school. The problem is a complex one with no easy solution. What I have here is
a very brief summary of a fairly lengthy discussion.
The cupola is made of copper with soldered joints, and most or all of the joints are leaking. It is above
the elevator shaft, which is required to have a vent. It is possible that the elevator could be vented in
another location, but that wouldn't necessarily be an inexpensive solution. Four courses of action, with
a number of variations, are being considered. They are:
Reconstruct the present cupola, at an estimated cost of about $450,000.
Replace the present cupola with a very small copper cupola at an estimated cost between $54,000
Remove the cupola - don't replace it.. A vent would still be needed. Estimated cost - $120,000 to
Remove the existing cupola and replace it with a fiberglass one of similar color and size. Cost -
$120,000 to $160,000.
The numbers above are the estimates of the company that has been studying the situation. Whatever
course of action is decided upon, the job will have to be advertised for bids.
The two pictures below were taken in October 2007.