Nancy Loud School
Nancy Loud 64cd32340b7ff

Elementary school in Rochester, New Hampshire, has closed permanently

Aug. 4, 2023
Heavy rains this summer have caused conditions at the 143-year-old Nancy Loud School to deteriorate.

Nancy Loud School, an elementary in Rochester, New Hampshire, has been closed permanently, two years earlier than planned.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports that the building has been deemed unsafe for occupancy, according to city and school district leaders.

Rochester Superintendent Kyle Repucci says 88 students were enrolled in grades K to 4 at Nancy Loud. Students and staff will be relocated to other elementary schools in Rochester.

Classes in Rochester resume Aug. 30.

The closure is forcing the district to speed up plans to consolidate Rochester's eight elementary schools, now down to seven. Rochester is working toward building and opening a new elementary school in 2025. The plan had been to close both the Nancy Loud and School Street schools in 2025, as well as eliminate modular classrooms at the Chamberlain and William Allen schools.

David Totty, facilities director for Rochester schools, said the Nancy Loud School was built in 1880. District leaders knew the building was not in the best condition, and heavy rains this summer caused more damage.

"We knew the Nancy Loud School was at the end of its useful service life and have been keeping a close eye on it," Totty said. "With the heavy rains, we found the situation alarming enough that we brought in structural engineers to look at it."

An engineering review determined the stone and brick foundation has deteriorated and settled. As a result, brick foundation walls and exterior wood-framed walls along the southeast exterior wall are displaced outward. These walls support the second floor and roof above. These conditions make it unsafe to occupy.

"The southeast wall has shifted and structural columns to the basement floor are unstable," Totty said.

The Nancy Loud School opened in 1880 as the original East Rochester School. It was renamed the East Rochester Annex when the new East Rochester School opened in the late 1950s. The Annex was closed for several years, then reopened in 1971. It was renamed in 2008 for Nancy Loud, the first principal of the Annex.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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