Pelham - Windham News 6 - January 7, 2011
Facilities Committee Recommends Long-Term Option for Space Constraints
by Barbara O&#x2019;Brien &#x201C;It would have been tempting to dream and dream big,&#x201D; Stephanie
Wimmer told Windham School Board members last month. What Wimmer was talking about was proposing options to deal with current and future space issues within the school district. &#x201C;But this is not a perfect world,&#x201D; Wimmer continued, and what
School Facilities Planning Committee members needed to do, in reality, was a significant analysis of school district space needs and how, especially in this lagging economy, to solve a dilemma that won&#x2019;t go away. Members of the Facilities Planning Committee have been meeting
for several months, working to establish criteria that can be used to evaluate options for existing and projected space constraints. As part of the study, members spent time doing on-site investigations at each of the district&#x2019;s existing schools. Architect Lance Whitehead and Harvey Construction, the same firm that was used for the construction of Windham High School, are assisting committee members.
Established criteria includes assuring that current and foreseeable
enrollment capacities are met (five, 10, and 20 years out) for both regular and special education students; that extra-curricular needs are met; that staff needs are met; and any option selected is economical and fiscally prudent for taxpayers. What Wimmer said committee members learned did not come as a surprise. The most significant issue facing the Windham School District is capacity. &#x201C;This is not likely to lessen in the immediate future,&#x201D; she said, although the rate of growth might not be as fast as it has been in the past decade. According to Wimmer, Golden Brook School is presently at 199
percent of its intended capacity, while Center School has reached 161 percent of capacity and Windham Middle School has climbed to 166 percent of the capacity for which it was constructed. These percentages do not include the portable classrooms that have been put into use. &#x201C;Windham has some of the highest class sizes in the State,&#x201D; she commented. &#x201C;Golden Brook is in desperate need of expansion,&#x201D; Wimmer said. Golden Brook currently houses kindergarten through second grade, with kindergartners and the Transition Program currently housed in portable classrooms. The good news, she said, is that there is sufficient land around Golden Brook to allow for expansion. &#x201C;Center School is perfect for two grades, not
three,&#x201D; Wimmer said. At present, students in grades three through five attend Center School. &#x201C;Center School is drastically over-crowded,&#x201D; she said, &#x201C;specials are being negatively impacted and there is no place for portables.&#x201D; Space constraints are also compromising special subjects (art, music, library, and physical education) at Windham Middle School, according to Wimmer. &#x201C;Technically, it is an elementary school,&#x201D; she said, adding that it does not meet State requirements for a middle school. Windham High School, which opened in September 2009, does have adequate capacity for the foreseeable future, Wimmer said, other than being in need of additional athletic fields. After reviewing and evaluating the issues facing the Windham School District, committee members came to unanimous agreement that the best option for solving the space constraint problem long-term would be to renovate Golden Brook School for students in kindergarten through second grade; make Center School a facility for two grades only (third and fourth); and renovate Windham Middle School to house four grades (fifth and sixth grade in one wing; seventh and eighth in a second wing). &#x201C;This would be more cost-efficient and educationally beneficial than building a new and separate building,&#x201D; Wimmer told School Board members. &#x201C;There would still be only four schools to maintain.&#x201D; Wimmer said that the renovations could be done in phases to minimize the impact on taxpayers, as well as to lessen the affect on students. Much of the construction work could be done during summer months, she explained. School Board Chairman Bruce Anderson said
that this was the first time he had heard that it would be possible to add on to Windham Middle School. In the past, he said, he had heard that the terrain made it impossible to enlarge the facility. Architect Lance Whitehead said it is possible to add on to the front area of the existing school, where the existing parking area is located. If the school is enlarged in that manner, he said, the parking lot would be relocated elsewhere. Any recreational fields that might be disrupted due to construction would also be recreated elsewhere, he explained.
Anderson also said he had been told previously that Golden Brook
School is &#x201C;not salvageable&#x201D; and that it is nothing but &#x201C;a money pit.&#x201D; Whitehead said that about 60 percent of the current facility, including the core components, could be saved. &#x201C;The brick and mortar are fine,&#x201D; he added.
When asked for &#x201C;a ballpark figure&#x201D; on the cost of doing all phases of construction and renovation over an extended, phased-in schedule, Whitehead said the total price tag would be less than $40 million in today&#x2019;s dollars (over a 20-year-period). Whether or not to recommend starting the process with renovations to Windham Middle School or Golden Brook is something that has not yet been determined. &#x201C;You could start anywhere and make a difference in student capacity,&#x201D; Wimmer said.
When asked about the possibility of constructing a new middle
school on land adjacent to Windham High School, Whitehead said the estimated cost would be about 40 percent higher than the options being recommended. &#x201C;It wouldn&#x2019;t be cost-efficient,&#x201D; he said, and would also skew the student population at existing school buildings. Resident Joel Dube also spoke to School Board members during the meeting, saying that there is no question that student capacity is the main issue for the Windham School District. However, he added, his property taxes have already tripled in the past 10 years and he foresees them going even higher due to more school construction. In his opinion, the immediate resolution is for the eighth grade to go to the high school. &#x201C;It&#x2019;s the easiest, least expensive, quickest remedy,&#x201D; he said. &#x201C;My concern is immediate; not 20 years from now.&#x201D; &#x201C;There isn&#x2019;t room for nine eighth grade classes at Windham High
School, unless you hack into the curriculum,&#x201D; School Facilities Director Warren Billings said. &#x201C;Windham High School has a great curriculum, great administration, great teachers, as it is.&#x201D; School Board members Ed Gallagher, Jeff Bostic, Michelle Farrell,
and John Hollinger all commented on the excellent job done by committee members. &#x201C;This is a very impressive body of work,&#x201D; Gallagher said. &#x201C;It&#x2019;s the first time I feel comfortable with the idea of a 20-year plan,&#x201D; Hollinger stated. &#x201C;Very impressive,&#x201D; Bostic added. &#x201C;This is an amazing group,&#x201D; Farrell said. &#x201C;Their recommendations are based on facts, not gut-feelings.&#x201D; School Board members voted 5 to 0 to accept the initial findings
of the Facilities Planning Committee and to move forward with further development of the proposed option. They also voted unanimously to hire Harvey Construction as the pre-construction management firm in an amount not to exceed $10,000. Before any actual renovation or construction work can be done, however, voters will have their say through a future proposed warrant article. Wimmer said that she and other committee members are reaching out to the community and asking that residents come forward with any questions. &#x201C;We&#x2019;d be happy to speak to groups or individuals,&#x201D; she said.
Won't you please come and meet us! We are so ready to
find our forever homes in the New Year.
Saturday, Jan. 22nd, 11-2pm Pet Adoption Day
at the First Congregational Church in Pelham.
To see a complete listing of our dogs and cats
. please visit Sylvester
Photos courtesy of "Creations by Sea-Jay" 603-635-2211
BROIL STEAK $2.88/lb.
LONDON USDA Choice
CENTER CUT PORK CHOPS $2.22/lb.
Family Pack - Boneless
HONEY GLAZED HAM $2.99/lb.
STIR FRY VEGETABLES $2.99/lb.
Fresh Baked SCALI BREAD $1.99
$4.99/21-31 oz. Jars
WILD RICE BLENDS
/19 oz. Taz AD Ad sponsored by Beaver Valley Farms, Pelham, NH
MARINATED SIRLOIN TIPS $4.44/lb.
BABY BACK RIBS $2.88/lb.
Plain or Marinated
Wunderbar GERMAN BOLOGNA $1.66/lb.
A Full Pint!
TOMATOES W $1.99 /28 oz.
hole, Crushed or Diced CHICKEN STOCK2/$3/32 oz.
More Than Gourmet BEEF OR
Doggie Daycare & Training Center
MARINATED TURKEY TIPS $3.88/lb.
HAM SALAD $2.99/lb.
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS $2.99/lb.
2/$5 Reg., Jumbo or Spinach Anna's
IMPORTED PASTA 99&#xA2;/16 oz.
SALEM, NH &#x2022; 236 N. Broadway, Rte. 28
Sale Dates: Friday, January 7th - Thursday, January 13th, 2010. Family Pack
BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST $1.66/lb. 5 lb. Bags
CHICKEN WINGS $1.79/lb.
WHOLE All Varieties
SEASONED BONELESS PORK ROASTS $1.98/lb.
Mon. - Sat. 8am-8pm &#x2022; Sun. 8am-7pm &#x2022; See ALL our specials at: www.MckinnonsMarkets.com
PMS Music Students Meet Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart
submitted by Paul Santerre Recently, the Pelham Memorial School Music Department was able to see Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at the Verizon Center in Manchester. The father of a sixth-grade band member played in the same high school band in New York as Lockhart, and the group was able to meet him after the performance.
Sara Walker, flute player, Pelham Memorial School; Conductor Keith Lockhart; Paul Santerre, Band Director, Pelham Memorial School; and Laura Prior, Pelham Memorial School Choral Director
FREE Play Group
&#x2022; 70 Range Rd, Windham, NH 890.6239
Sundays, 9:30 am (for puppies up to 6 months)
Is It Time For You To Be Held ACCOUNTABLE?
FREE MONTH OF TRAINING!
Don&#x2019;t Fall Short Of Your New Year&#x2019;s Resolution! Start Today!
&#x2022; Weight Training &#x2022; Cardio Training
&#x2022; Nutrition Counseling &#x2022; ACCOUNTABILITY
Our Sole Responsibility Is
To Help Women Transform Their Bodies & Lives!
We Only Work With Those That Are Truly Committed & Ready! Are You Next?
224 North Broadway | Salem Market Place Salem, NH 603-458-2630
We reserve the right to limit quantities. EBT, MC, VISA, AMEX, DISCOVER accepted. Not responsible for typographical errors.
Some Items Salem, NH Only
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12