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Renovation, addition proposed for Dunbarton Elementary School

Union Leader Correspondent

February 12. 2018 11:00PM

DUNBARTON — Residents will be asked to weigh in on a proposed renovation project for the town’s elementary school to help solve space and security issues.

Voters at the Dunbarton Town Meeting will see two warrant articles to help fund the project: one for a $2.27 million project at Dunbarton Elementary School and one for raising $240,000 for the Capital Reserve Fund.

With the project, $1.79 million would be paid for using a 10-year bond and $478,310 would be used from the Dunbarton School Capital Reserve Fund. That second amount can only be withdrawn if the warrant article to add money in to the Capital Reserve Fund is approved.

A construction manager is being used for the project, which means the cost is determined and a maximum set beforehand.

“If it comes in less than that, we get all the savings,” said school board member Jeff Trexler.

Though the addition appears to add three classrooms, there is only a net gain of one. Other classroom spaces in the building will be used for administration and special services.

A vestibule would also be added to the front of the school to help control the flow of visitors into the school.

Currently, there isn’t a way to have visitors connect with the secretary after they’re buzzed into the building.

“Obviously, in this day and age, we need to take security very seriously,” said school board member Clement Madden. “This would help address that.”

Other improvements that will be made include replacing the carpets in the corridors, upgrading the fire system, fixing the vinyl on the building, replacing the boiler and replacing windows at the school.

If approved, construction would need to start in April in order to have it completed by the following August for the beginning of the school year.

Taking on the project now would help to keep costs down as opposed to doing it in the future when inflation will increase construction costs and interest rates may rise, or trying to do it in small parts over the course of several years, Trexler said.

“It made sense to go ahead and do it all in one shot,” he said.

Trexler said the board will also stay on top of any capital projects that need to be done in the future. Just what that work may consist of is still fluid.

“It depends on how quickly we grow and when that need starts to arise,” he said.

The Dunbarton Town Meeting will be held on March 10 at the elementary school starting at 1 p.m.

Education General News Dunbarton

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