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Manchester principal seeks funds to renovate school library

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

December 26. 2016 9:15PM
The principal at Webster Elementary School will go before a school board subcommittee today seeking permission to secure funding to renovate the school's library. (PAT GROSSMITH/UNION LEADER FILE)

MANCHESTER — The principal at Webster Elementary School will go before a school board subcommittee today seeking permission to secure funding to renovate the school’s library.

The request from Webster Elementary School Principal Sarah Lynch appears as an agenda item for today’s meeting of the Board of School Committee’s Building & Sites committee, scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall.

The overall cost of the project, according to paperwork filed with School Business Administrator Karen DeFrancis, is $61,930, which Lynch and Webster library media specialist Rebecca Domin anticipate will be raised through a combination of grants and donations from Manchester businesses.

Once the funding has been raised, Webster school officials will come back before the Building & Sites committee with an update on final cost estimates for the project and a list of funding sources secured for approval.

“The Webster School Library is in dire need of a renovation,” writes Lynch in a letter of support for the project, sent to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bolgen Vargas. “The bookshelves on the wall and in the center of the library are old and outdated. Mrs. Domin does an exceptional job running the library with her current supplies, but our students deserve a library where the materials and equipment is up to date and appropriate for 21st century learners.”

The library at Webster was built in the early 1970s “and has not been remodeled or updated since then,” according to Domin.

According to Domin, the potential funding plan for the project includes applying for several grants — $25,000 from Lowe’s, $5,000 in NEA Student Achievement Grants and $5,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services — as well as seeking sponsorships from Queen City businesses.

Domin proposes the removal of existing carpet and shelving and replacing them, repainting all walls and doors, updating library multimedia equipment such as replacing VHS and cassette tapes with DVDs and CDs, updating print materials, and removing and replacing ceiling tiles.

“At the Webster Elementary School, I am proud to say that the library is not only used by all 483 students weekly, but also a place where staff meetings are held, as well as professional development trainings,” writes Domin in a letter to Dr. Vargas. “I feel confident that the Webster family community would be very supportive both financially and through voluntary labor of this project.”

pfeely@unionleader.com


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