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January 08. 2013 10:31PM

Goffstown officials outline plans for school renovations

GOFFSTOWN - The school district held a public hearing Monday on a proposed $14.5 million bond article for improvements to the town's two elementary schools.

If voters pass the article in March, the tax impact on the first year's repayment would be 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value, with an impact of 71 cents per thousand in the bond's remaining years, or an additional $178 per year on a $250,000 home.

SAU 19 Business Manager Ray Labore said Goffstown residents would pay about 49 cents a day "to allow for Goffstown students to have a state-of-the-art facility as we move forward."

Labore said $345,220 will be withdrawn from the Bartlett Capital Reserve Fund to defray some of the cost, and voters will be asked to appropriate $271,567 for the first year's debt service.

Voters rejected a bond request for the school improvements last year.

Labore provided a list of projects that are expected to be completed at Bartlett and Maple Avenue Elementary schools.

At Bartlett Elementary, seven new classrooms would be added, and the back portion of the building, built in the 1920s, would be razed.

The front portion of the building, built in the 1960s, would remain.

Also featured in the improvements at Bartlett Elementary would be the removal of two portable classrooms, replacement of the gym floor, electrical upgrades, new and renovated bathrooms, expansion of the kitchen and food service areas, updated technology, asbestos abatement and improved and enhanced security.

"We're all sensitive to that particular issue at this point," Labore said, referring to last month's school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

At Maple Avenue Elementary, 10 new classrooms will be added, as well as a new main entrance, a new computer lab, new art and music room space, improved bus, vehicle and pedestrian circulation, asbestos abatement and upgrades to electrical and power distribution systems.

An informational flier entitled, "If Not Now, When?" stresses the importance of the building projects, which would eliminate the use of hallways and closets as instructional spaces, improve security and safety, take advantage of low bond rates and bundle years of deferred maintenance costs.

Doing nothing, according to the flier, would result in a failure to provide safe, appropriate facilities, an increase maintenance costs to repair old buildings, poor air quality and a need for additional portable classrooms.

If voters approve the projects, construction would begin in the spring and be completed by the summer of 2014.


kremillard@newstote.com

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