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Salem to decide fate of $75m school proposal

SALEM — How the school district proceeds with its capital improvement plan over the next year depends in part on whether the proposed $75 million high school renovation project passes at the ballot box on March 11.

The district has about $500,000 in its capital improvement plan for the coming year. That money covers health and safety issues as well as other improvements in the district’s schools.

The majority of that money is earmarked for projects at the high school and Woodbury Middle School, according to Superintendent Michael Delahanty.


“One of our considerations is going to be what money do we want to expend on the high school projects,” he said. “We probably won’t know until the disposition of the March 11 vote. What we don’t want to do is address some issues at the high school only to have the work undone through the school renovation project.”

Delahanty said there might be some items the district would still want to take care of at the high school, however, depending upon the phasing of the renovation project.

Some of the scheduled capital improvements for the high school include interior painting and repairs to some classrooms, asphalt repairs in the parking lot, window seals, carpet replacement and some landscaping, said school facilities director Jack Messenheimer.

School Board member Pamela Berry said that while the district should hold off on capital improvements at the high school, it should go ahead with planned work at the Woodbury Middle School.

“It’s already approved and in the budget,” said Berry. “I’d like to get moving on that.”

Some of the work scheduled at the Woodbury School included access ramps and upgrades to the parking areas, as well as repairs to the shop exhaust system.

“We can get started with the health and safety issues at the Woodbury School, and bring back the other items once we know the outcome of the vote,” said Delahanty.


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