UPDATE: Remote Learning Continues for Hubbard Elementary Due to Facility Issues

Article Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

February 17, 2021

RE: Recurring facility issues at Hubbard Avenue Elementary School

Hello Families of Hubbard Elementary,

Thank you very much for your continued patience regarding the facility issues at Hubbard Avenue Elementary School.  We continue to work on finding a resolution.  At this point, our short-term fixes have not worked in the manner we had hoped.

The primary reason for the building emergency is leaks found in the piping associated with the boiler system in the school.  Repair workers have attempted to fix the leaks with clamps and patches and a section of piping was replaced.  It is complicated work as much of the piping is found in tunnels beneath the school.  We have found that when a series of leaks are repaired, new leaks can arise.  These leaks exist through very small pinholes in the piping.

Before the work on the piping, independent testing was done in the tunnel areas for the presence of asbestos in the pipe insulation for the heating system.  These results showed no presence of asbestos. 

When leaks exist, moisture builds up in the surrounding air and on the walls.  This can result in the growth of mold.  To ensure proper air quality, testing has been performed by officials from “Research & Productivity Council” (RPC) for the presence of different types of molds in the air.  This testing was primarily in the tunnel and associated areas close to where the heating system was disabled.  Testing was also done in a variety of spaces around the school to ensure the safety of staff and students upon return to school once repairs are completed.  WorkSafe NB has also contributed to the process.  At this time, the results are in line with Health Canada guidelines and give us no cause for concern for the safety of the educational environments for staff and students.  We are watching for another set of tests to come in.

Our continued concern is that the heating system will get repaired only to spring new leaks in the days that follow.  Officials from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI) have been working with Anglophone West Facility staff and experts from the private sector to get a handle on the extent of the problem.  We will need to determine if a better fix can be put in place that will allow for a dependable return to school or if we need to examine other options.  We will also need to think about a long-term plan.  I know that making “2-day decisions” is not beneficial for anyone.

As school principal Bev Loker-French noted earlier today, remote learning will need to continue for the rest of this week.  While I won’t confirm it this evening, there is a possibility that remote learning will need to be extended into next week, leading us to March Break.  While I apologize for this inconvenience, I want to share this possibility now so that arrangements can be considered in advance.

I offer my gratitude to the staff of Hubbard who are doing their best to maintain meaningful learning experiences for all students at Hubbard.  I know this isn’t easy.

We will maintain communications with you as information becomes available.  The safety of students and staff will always be the priority. 


David McTimoney,

Superintendent, ASD-W​