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May 06. 2013 9:50PM

Public input sought on plans for new Lamprey River school in Raymond

RAYMOND - The Lamprey River Elementary School Building Committee is seeking public input on three site options for a new elementary school.

A public forum is being held tonight beginning at 6 p.m. at the school.

The building committee has been working since last year to come up with a solution for the current undersized elementary school.

Originally, the committee planned to renovate and add on to the current facility, but that plan was derailed in January after months of work when committee members learned a town floodplain ordinance would not allow for any major renovations without lifting the entire building about 18 inches.

"If your renovations exceed 50 percent of the assessed value of the property, then you need to raise the entire structure a minimum of 18 inches above the floodplain," committee chairman Alec O'Meara said.

Right now, the floodplain sits at the front door of the elementary school.

Additionally, the town is expecting that within the next 10 years the Army Corps of Engineers will be revisiting the floodplain level for the Lamprey River.

"With the recent spate of storms, it is entirely conceivable they could raise the floodplain," O'Meara said. "So with that, we began looking at new sites entirely and that is what we've been doing for the last couple of months."

The committee has narrowed the choices down to three sites, including two options at the high school and another on private property.

During its meeting on May 1, the school board did not rule out any of the options.

The committee hopes to have a finalized proposal to go out for bid in June and O'Meara said it is still on track to bring something before voters in the spring of 2014.

The goal of the meeting is to brief the community regarding the committee's research.

"Secondly, we want to hear from the community as far as what their priorities are and what is most important to them," O'Meara said.

gmacalaster@newstote.com


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