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Building $45.1m school likely to top Newmarket’s agenda
The plan calls for building the new school across from the current school, which was originally constructed in 1925 but has been renovated over the years. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)
The proposal is expected to generate the most discussion at the school district deliberative session, which begins at 10 a.m. at the junior-senior high school.
School officials say the school, which has a population of 444 students, has numerous fire and life safety issues and its size is inadequate. The building is also expensive to operate, they say, and has aged beyond repair.
If approved by a 60 percent majority vote, taxpayers would have to raise $1.3 million for the first year’s payment of a 25-year bond.
The plan has divided the town, with supporters arguing it’s long overdue and opponents fearing the cost will force some taxpayers out of town.
Resident Paul Dietterle said he feels the cost of the new school, future improvements needed at the elementary school, and additional expenses down the road will “bankrupt” too many residents.
He admitted that paying for the school won’t be easy for his family, but he still feels the school must be built.
“Is there any reason to believe that these costs will decrease if we do nothing? Is there any reason to believe that doing nothing means we will pay less in the future for these necessary improvements? Do we think that things will change if we do nothing because my point is there is a time value cost to doing nothing right now, and the best chance to tackle that issue is to do it with the current dollars and with the current plan,” he said.
Craig Dionne told residents at the hearing that he believes a new school will ultimately cost less than any other option, whether it be renovating, bringing in portable classrooms or sending students elsewhere.
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