Epping faces steep repair bill to fix Watson Academy
EPPING - An engineering firm estimates that it will cost between $207,000 and $303,000 to repair damage to Watson Academy found after a 4.0 earthquake hit New Hampshire in October.
In a report to selectmen issued Monday, SFC Engineering Partnership Inc. of Auburn outlined recommendations for making structural repairs to the historic building that until recently was used for the town's recreation center.
After the damage was discovered after the quake, the building was shut down and recreation activities were moved to the elementary and middle schools while the director's office was relocated to the town hall.
At a board meeting Monday, selectmen said they were concerned about the cost and would not have time to put together a plan asking voters to repair the building. However, citizens could still propose a petitioned warrant article seeking funding for the project in March.
The project would include new floor framing and replacement, strengthening of the bell tower framing, and roof repairs.
In its report, SFC Engineering Partnership urged town officials to seek historical and energy-related grants to help fund some of the work if they decide to move ahead with the project.
Selectman Tom Gauthier said he attended Watson Academy when it served as a school, but despite his ties, he voiced concern about asking voters for money to repair it.
"I don't think this town can afford $200,000 to $300,000 to put into that building because it's just a Band-Aid," he said at the meeting. "If we can get the money from . grants or whatever, that's a different story, but to take it out of taxpayers' pockets at this point I think would be extremely difficult."
In the meantime, selectmen continue to research options for housing the town's recreation department. Recreation officials have discussed the possibility of relocating to the school district's administrative building, but no decisions have been made.
- - - - - - - -
Jason Schreiber may be reached at email@example.com.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Storm expected to take biggest toll in northern part of state - 0
- Central part of state biggest area of concern in storm - 0
- March storm brings accumulation mystery, maybe misery - 0
- FEMA OKs $8m for repairs in Lincoln, Lebanon - 0
- Powerful storm lashes eastern U.S. with snow, arctic cold - 0
- Forecasters say true to form, March will come in like a lion - 0
- NWS: North Country flooding risk near normal for now - 0
- Device may help solve weighty problem - 0
- Frequent snowstorms taking a toll on Manchester's plowing budget - 1
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Parents share what 'CJ' taught them - 0
- Gilford High junior surprised by Francis Wayland Parker honor - 0
- Police bill disputed by Stewartstown and Colebrook ends up in court - 0
- New to Nottingham, fire victims plan to stay - 0
- ‘Coffee with a Cop’ promotes police, community relations - 0
- Arts-based charter high school in Derry begins accepting applications - 0
- Troy voters accept community center donation - 0
- Voters support Bow School District articles - 0
- License revocations for DWI announced - 0
Police at scene of Center Ossipee shooting
New to Nottingham, fire victims plan to stay
Litchfield man found stabbed
Scott Brown's latest step stirs the pot
Hooksett's choices: Leave them to parents