RAYMOND — The possibility of sending Raymond’s high school students to Pinkerton Academy in Derry or another school is off the table after voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea.
“I think that’s a dead issue,” said Joseph Saulnier, chairman of the Raymond School Board.
The school district proposed a warrant article asking to form a committee to study the idea of forming a tuition agreement with Pinkerton Academy.
The proposal, which was defeated 1,064 to 337, also requested $50,000 for the school board to perform a building needs assessment and design analysis to possibly convert the high school into an elementary school.
Voters have rejected proposed improvements to the Lamprey River Elementary School in recent years, but Saulnier said the problems with the building still exist and that something must still be done to address them in the future.
“We do have issues with the elementary school that we’ve been trying to improve upon,” he said.
School officials expected opposition to the warrant article, but wanted to put it to voters to get the pulse of the community.
“I was not surprised by the outcome of the vote on Article 10 because there was a strong, vocal contingency in town that showed support for, and pride in, Raymond High School. Based on the vote, I do not anticipate that the district will explore other options that involve sending our high school students to another school on a tuition basis,” Superintendent Tina McCoy said.
McCoy added that there is interest in the community in a possible agreement that would allow another nearby district to send its high school students to Raymond High School.
“We have space for more students, we have great teachers, and we are on an exciting path right now,” she said.
The school board held its first meeting since the March 12 vote last week. Saulnier said a committee may be needed to look at options to address the problems at the elementary school, which could include an addition or a new building.
“We have to do something. Those portables are only getting older,” he said.
McCoy said the board has yet to formalize any plans to address the elementary school needs, but is confident members will work toward a long-term solution in concert with the community.