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INFO | Morehead Elementary School Temporary Relocation


Morehead Elementary School’s Temporary Relocation

Malfunctions were discovered in the heating system at Morehead Montessori Magnet Elementary School Friday morning, January 24. Repairs have begun immediately, and we anticipate that heating service will be restored in mid-February. In the meantime, Morehead’s classrooms have been temporarily relocated to available classrooms at Eno Valley Elementary School and the Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center.

We will update this page regularly with information to help Morehead families during this temporary relocation.

February 7 Update

About our repair progress

  • Our repairs continue to be on schedule!
  • All parts have been received and installed.
  • The contractor is actively testing and assessing all installed parts as weather allows.
  • Post-installation cleaning starts February 7.
  • We will be able to heat the building in preparation for subfreezing temperatures this weekend.
  • Here is Dominion Energy’s incident report.

About carbon monoxide detectors

  • Durham Public Schools intends to update all its facilities with Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors. We will begin our updates as follows.
    • Phase 1: Install plug-in CO detectors in areas adjacent to sources of combustion (in line with item number 2 of the engineer’s recommendations below).
    • Phase 2: Develop budget and schedule for installation of long-term CO detectors wired for monitoring capabilities in ceilings of rooms with fuel-burning appliances.
    • Phase 3: Install CO detectors wired for monitoring capabilities in ceilings of rooms with fuel burning appliances and remove plug-in CO detectors (in line with item number 1 of the engineer’s recommendations).
  • Here is the engineering report from Sud Associates, P.A.
  • Here is the fire department’s incident report.

About our return to Morehead Montessori

  • We anticipate holding a teacher workday on Friday, Feb. 14: moving day!
  • We anticipate returning to school on the regular schedule Monday, Feb. 17!
  • We invite Morehead families who are available to come to the school at noon Friday, Feb. 14, for an informal tour and a quick lunch to thank our Morehead teachers and staff for everything they have done for our students during the temporary relocation!

(en español)

January 31 Update

About our repair progress
Repairs to the heat exchangers at Morehead Montessori are continuing as scheduled, with the next shipment of parts scheduled to arrive today, Friday, Jan. 31. The next installation day is scheduled for Monday. Feb. 3. We are running extremely limited heat using the working units to prevent pipes from freezing and to protect other building assets. The project is on schedule and progressing as planned.

About carbon monoxide detectors
The optimal solution for carbon monoxide (CO) detectors is integration with a whole-building overhaul of our facility life safety and mechanical systems (as at Eno Valley Elementary, Rogers-Herr Middle, and The School for Creative Studies). This week, DPS staff has worked with the Durham Fire Marshal’s office as well as a mechanical engineer to determine the most effective placement, district-wide, of standalone detectors until funding is approved to complete deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects.

Both the fire marshal and mechanical engineer recommend placing detectors in occupied rooms next to equipment where gas is utilized, including kitchens, mechanical rooms, and science labs that utilize gas for experimentation.

We have been researching the cost and availability of the recommended detectors. We are also meeting on Monday, Feb. 3, with a mechanical engineer familiar with our facilities to ensure the proposed CO detector locations provide adequate coverage.

About a joint meeting about DPS school facilities
The Durham Public Schools Board of Education and the Durham County Board of Commissioners have a regularly scheduled joint meeting Tuesday morning, Feb. 4, at 9 a.m. In addition to a conversation about our long-range capital improvement (building program) needs, we will be providing an update about the Morehead Montessori facility issue and Principal Webb has been invited to speak. If you would like to join us, the meeting is in the County Commissioners’ chambers at the old courthouse on 200 E. Main St.

(en español)

Bus/Transportation Schedule

Morning pick-up times will remain the same. Afternoon drop-off times are slightly different. Click HERE for afternoon bus schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when the smell of gas is reported?

  • The building is evacuated.
  • The Fire Department is dispatched to investigate the odor.
  • Dominion Energy (gas company) is dispatched to investigate.

What were the findings of the investigation?

  • Dominion Energy found slightly elevated CO levels in an area close to the cafeteria - this was the first time Dominion Energy detected any abnormalities in the building.
  • Dominion Energy, DPS Technicians, and Certified Trane HVAC Technicians from Brady Services inspected the rooftop units.
  • During the inspections, malfunctioning equipment was discovered.

What is the current status of the Morehead facility?

  • The rooftop gas heating units are malfunctioning and are in need of repair.
  • The building is not heated, but is able to be occupied.
  • Dominion Energy confirmed there was no gas leak in the building.
  • When a piece of gas equipment malfunctions, it can cause a gas odor.
  • Brady Services Certified Trane Technicians are handling all assessments and repairs.
  • Parts have been ordered and the repairs began January 27. 
  • Some parts require fabrication and will be shipped as soon as possible.
  • Repairs are anticipated for completion by mid-February.

Where will my child go to school during the relocation?

  • Pre-K through Third Grade and Self-Contained Classes will be served at Eno Valley Elementary, 117 Milton Rd., Durham, NC 27712.
  • Fourth and Fifth Grades will be held at the Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center, 2107 Hillandale Rd., Durham, NC 27705.

Will my child receive “specials” instruction?

  • Specials will be held daily for every class at both locations.

How will meals be handled?

  • Students will receive a full breakfast and lunch at both Eno Valley Elementary and the Staff Development Center.

What about before- and after-school care?

  • Before-care will run from 6:30 to 9:15 a.m. at Eno Valley Elementary and the Staff Development Center.
  • After-care will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Eno Valley Elementary and the Staff Development Center.

What about administrative support?

  • Principal Webb will be the on-site administrator at Eno Valley Elementary and will visit the Staff Development Center regularly.
  • Assistant Principal Seckler will be the on-site administrator at the Staff Development Center.
  • To reach students at Eno Valley and the Staff Development Center, please continue to call the Morehead phone number: (919) 560-3954.

How will my child get to and from school?

  • Bus riders
    • The morning bus schedule will continue to run as it is currently routed on a normal school day at Morehead.
    • In the afternoons bus riders will depart from Eno Valley to the Staff Development Center, then from the SDC to temporary scheduled routes (available on the DPS and Morehead websites).
  • Walkers and car riders
    • Students will continue to come to and from Morehead. Shuttle buses will arrive at 8:45 a.m. and depart Morehead at 9 a.m. for Eno Valley and the Staff Development Center.
    • UPDATED, JAN. 31: Shuttles will depart from Eno Valley and the SDC to bring students back to Morehead at approximately 4:10 p.m. depending on traffic and other bus logistics.