NASHUA — The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday authorized spending nearly $9 million on various building improvements to Broad Street Elementary School.
The project includes heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work, as well as five small exterior additions at 854 square feet each to accommodate mechanical and utility equipment.
The school's access road and parking will be reconfigured and a new, concrete entrance plaza will be constructed with a new walkway, access drive, catch basin and stormwater drainage improvements.
A new roof and new windows will also be installed, and two classrooms will be updated.
"I think this is a very useful thing to do," Alderman-at-Large Brian McCarthy said last week while encouraging aldermen to support the initiative.
Parents were concerned about fire vehicles having access to the school, according to Alderman David Deane, president of the board.
With security issues being addressed at schools throughout the city, Deane acknowledged that the flow of the Broad Street Elementary School access entrance is not a prudent way to get students safely in and out of the facility.
"The whole design of that building is rather odd to begin with," said Deane, adding now is the time to correct the inadequacies.
The Board of Aldermen, without any discussion on Tuesday, approved a principal bond not to exceed $8,790,250 for the school renovations. Total cost of the project, however, would be approximately $12,478,460, which includes interest at a 4 percent bond rate.
"I wish the price-tag would not have come in as high as it did," Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said Wednesday. "But this was an expected expense that we had planned for. It is certainly a priority for that school."
Principal Christine Breen of Broad Street Elementary School said earlier that dismissal times can be tricky because vehicles are often parked on the roadway rather than on school property. One of the primary goals of the renovations, she said, is to get more vehicles waiting on school grounds rather than the street.
"We are considering children's safety first," said Breen, adding the location and layout for parent and bus drop-offs will be improved significantly.