Whitefield considers expanding the Career and Technical CenterBy DEBRA THORNBLAD
Special to the Union Leader
March 10. 2014 8:04PM
WHITEFIELD — Voters in Whitefield will be deciding on two major projects today.
The first, an addition to White Mountains Regional High School to house an expansion of the Career and Technical Education Center (CTE), will be voted on by ballot during the day. Whitefield voters will join those from Lancaster, Jefferson, Dalton and Carroll in deciding the issue. It requires 60 percent approval.
Plans include new space for existing and new CTE programs, a biomass plant and the vacated space in the high school for more classrooms and athletic practice space.
Voting is today from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the C.D. McIntyre building on Highland Street.
The CTE would be funded by 75 percent state aid. The cost of the project is $18,073,862. Of that, $13.5 million will be covered by state aid, leaving $4,573,862 to be bonded locally.
The CTE addition to the existing building would be about 70,000 square feet. About 2,000 square feet of space would be for the proposed biomass plant and storage building.
The biomass plant costs are also covered by the 75 percent state aid. It would heat the existing school and the addition and is estimated to save the district about $61,000 in fuel costs per year.
The existing CTE offers 12 programs. New programs, if the center was approved, would include a 2-year welding program, an upgraded hospitality program, and possibily cosmetology/spa management and biotechnology.
If approved, construction would begin in July 2014 and the building would be ready to occupy in September 2015.
Tonight, Whitefield voters will take up the issue of whether they want to build a new municipal building on Route 16 next to the fire station. That meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the McIntyre building.
The cost would be $1.27 million. Funding would come from a number of areas: $560,000 by bond or notes; $22,000 from the Recreation Savings Account, $73,000 from the Recreation Revolving Fund; $185,000 from the Emergency Services Building Capital Reserve Fund; $180,000 from the sale of land; $180,000 from grant funding; and $70,000 from the fund balance.
It will be voted on by ballot and require 2/3 approval.
If approved, the building would house town offices, the police department, fire/rescue and the recreation department.
At present, the town is renting space in the Astle Block at $28,000 per year. But there are no guarantees about the rent in the future. In addition, while it is downtown, there are safety and liability issues with that site, town officials have said.
Whitefield’s old town hall was taken down last July when it was found the renovations necessary were estimated at $1.89 million.
Town meeting will be held in the auditorium of the C.D. McIntyre Building on Highland St. at 7:30 p.m.
The municipal building proposal is the first on the agenda.
Among the other 24 warrant article is a request for $95,000 to conduct a townwide revaluation, the sum to come from the Revaluation Capital Reserve Fund.
Another article asks the town to give permission to the Whitefield High School alumni to build a multi-purpose building at 28 King Square to provide public bathrooms. There would be no expense to the town.
The final article is the tar sands article on the warrant of many towns, asking the town to express is opposition to the transport of tar sands oil through New Hampshire.