Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders reports the ConVal School District has filed a lawsuit against Monadnock Tent and Event in order to recoup losses caused by unusable outdoor tents the district rented from the business to support in-person learning.
The suit was filed on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Hillsborough County Superior Court.
In all, the district will be seeking $220,236.99 in total damages from Monadnock Tent and Event. This amount includes a refund for the money spent on tents that were not able to be permitted, labor costs, engineering costs, and electrical work.
“This lawsuit is meant to hold Monadnock Tent and Event responsible for their failure to live up to the responsibility of ensuring that the tents provided to the district could be permitted for use,” Superintendent Rizzo Saunders said. “This failure resulted in significant disruptions to the start of the school year, putting an increased burden on our staff, students, and their families during an already challenging time. After a good faith effort on our part to resolve this issue, this step is a last resort for the district as we work to recoup the taxpayer funding that went toward tents that we were ultimately unable to use.”
In late August and early September, the district became aware that tents over 400 square feet that it rented from Monadnock Tent and Event would not meet the permitting requirements set out by the state of New Hampshire. The permitting challenges were created by the vendor’s inability to provide the necessary data, certificates, and other required documentation to the necessary authorities per the contract and the representations made by the vendor.
As a result, the district had to modify its reopening plan and transitioned students at Great Brook, South Meadow and ConVal Regional High Schools to a remote learning model for the beginning of the school year.
As of this week, the District is fully implementing the Reopening Plan. On Monday, Oct. 5, South Meadow School seventh and eighth graders began attending classes in-person, as well as all ConVal High School students in the blue cohort. Students in grades 9-12 in the gold cohort will attend in-person together beginning on Oct. 13, and the two cohorts will rotate as scheduled going forward. In-person learning was scheduled to have begun for those students on Sept. 8.
The district will provide additional updates as they become available.