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Auburn urges residents to participate in school renovation plans

Union Leader Correspondent

November 30. 2017 9:51PM
The School Improvement Committee has been working with engineers since the summer to formulate plans for renovating and adding to the town's elementary school. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

AUBURN — Residents are invited to attend a series of meetings in the coming months about proposed renovation work at the town’s elementary school.

There will be three meetings held before the March town meeting to let residents know about changes being proposed for Auburn Village School.

The meetings will be held at the school on Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 17 at 9:30 a.m., and March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Pamphlets will be distributed around town at various community events announcing the times and dates of each meeting.

The Auburn Village School is currently exceeding its capacity with the roughly 600 students.

Officials hope that additional space will also improve student security, as well as allow for increased enrollment in the future, according to members of the School Improvement Committee.

Auburn Village School was built in the 1940s, with some additions added started in the 1960s. Since 2002, portable classrooms have been used for some of the classes.

Currently, nine classes are held in modular classrooms on the school grounds, which have exceeded their life expectancy. An addition would also add more space to the school’s gym, which can’t hold all the students for a school-wide assembly, and the nurse’s office doesn’t meet minimum health requirements.

Restrooms are also insufficient for both staff and students.

The exact cost of the renovations are still being formulated, but some estimates put it at approximately $15 million.

“I’m expecting them to be at the (school) board meeting on Dec. 12,” said Alan Villeneuve, who is both on the school board and the committee, of the final numbers.

The renovation and expansion project would be paid for through a bond issue.

“We had good feedback from the selectmen,” Villeneuve said. “They suggested a 15-year bond would be an appropriate way to go with the numbers we talked about.”

The bond issue would have to be approved by voters at the March town meeting.

Local and County Government Auburn

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