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ConVal: Tent company removed outdoor classroom tents without permission

  • An aerial view of ConVal High School shows some of the school's outdoor tent classrooms. Photo by Swift Corwin

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/17/2020 12:36:16 PM

The ConVal School District has “engaged counsel” after its contracted tent rental company allegedly removed tents that were being used for outdoor learning.

The school district sued Greenfield company Monadnock Tent and Event in early October after neither party could provide the engineering documentation required by the state for any tent larger than 400 square feet set up in a public or commercial space. About 80 tents were already set up at school around the district, but those larger than 20’x20’ were unusable without the proper documentation.

According to a press release issued by ConVal Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders Friday, the district asked Monadnock Tent and Event at the end of September to remove all of the large, unpermitted tents. The remaining tents that were 20-by-20 or smaller were to remain and were being used daily, but over the weekend of Oct. 10-11, Monadnock Tent and Event allegedly removed six 20-by-20 tents from four schools throughout the district without permission, Saunders wrote.

“Outdoor learning has been extraordinarily popular among students and teachers alike, and it has been a vital part of our efforts to maintain hybrid learning. We are committed to outdoor learning for as long as it is possible,” Saunders said. “We are deeply disappointed in the actions of Monadnock Tent and Event...The district has engaged counsel regarding the seizure of the tents the district had been able to utilize, and will update the community regularly.”

ConVal’s lawsuit against Monadnock Tent and Event seeks $220,236.99 in total damages, to cover money spent on unpermitted tents, labor costs, engineering costs, and electrical work. The contract for the 80 or so tents Monadnock Tent and Event set up throughout the district cost about $480,000, as reported in September.


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