Published November 20, 2018


WAKEFIELD – Hopes that the vacant Hurd School could be used to house the Tall Spire Nursery school were dashed last week when lead paint was found on the window sashes of the 119-year-old school building on Cordis Street.

The Tall Spire had for decades rented space in the First Baptist Church until a devastating fire destroyed the house of worship after it was hit by lightning early in the evening of Oct. 23.

Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio has been meeting with Tall Spire Director Kathy Relihan in hopes that the town could offer the Hurd School building as a stable location for the preschool.

Maio told the Town Council last week that he had hoped to bring to them a draft lease agreement, but tests first had to be performed on the water and for lead paint at the school. The results of the latter tests were disappointing.

“The tests came back with lead all over the window sashes,” Maio told the board. He said that it would cost over $1,000 per window to remediate the problem and could take months to get it done.

Maio said that the Tall Spire is now looking for other options.

“We are unable to accommodate them at this time,” he said. “We can’t have children under 6 in a facility we own that has lead paint.”

A recent letter from Relihan and staff to the Item Forum said that The Tall Spire has been grateful to the Americal Civic Center, St. Joseph School and the Most Blessed Sacrament Church “for the continued use of weekly space for a gathering place for our families and children as we transition to our new location.”

According to Tall Spire’s web site, “We continue to work hard and as fast as possible to get Tall Spire set up in a new location. We should receive confirmation on a new location within the week and begin the process of transitioning. We are as anxious as you are to get settled and start school again.”