Pelham - Windham News 2 - September 16, 2011
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As a former member of the Pelham High Cross Country team, Kevin Ciampa had first- hand knowledge of the state of disrepair that hampered sections of the Python home course. In an attempt to simultaneously help out his former teammates and earn his Eagle Scout merit badge, Kevin decided to fix the water problem (redirecting drainage) that made sections of the mile and a half long course virtually impassable. As part of the badge earning process, Ciampa was personally and completely responsible for every facet of the community project. From concept to crushed stone, Kevin was involved with not only the physical labor but also the generating of funds to pay for the project. After getting approval from various entities including the school board, Kevin with the help of his Eagle Scout Advisor, Tom Goss, proceeded with the next phase of the project. The 17-year-old Troop 610 member held a car wash and bake sale in the First Congregational Church’s parking lot in an attempt to raise the necessary funds to complete the work. He then consulted with a friend in the landscaping business, Jay Gagnon, to help determine cost estimates and material needed. With crushed stone and elbow grease being the two major elements required to accomplish the job, Kevin started recruiting friends and neighbors to pitch in with the volunteer labor and then went to Boissonneault Construction to order his materials. After receiving a generous discount by the Londonderry business, which reflected free delivery of
Eagle Scout Repairs PHS X-Country Course On Saturday morning, September
the crushed stone, Ciampa was set to start.
10, Kevin and friends showed up to the site, which is located behind the baseball diamond at Pelham High School. In all, there were three sections of the course that needed some ‘TLC’. The two major areas of concern were approximately between 100 and 150 yards into the woods. The underlying problem had to deal with natural water run off that came from the direction of the athletic fields and traveled across the course. Ciampa’s goal was to divert and/or reroute the flow of the water in order to avert future erosion of and water build up on the course. In the past, the temporary fix was achieved by putting a sheet of plywood over the water. Not content with that remedy, the PHS senior decided to fix the problem once and for all. Although the project took more time and used more material than was originally anticipated, Ciampa and crew completed the weekend long project much to his delight. After personally visiting the project site before and after its completion, I was thoroughly impressed with the work that had been accomplished in such a short period of time. In fact, on one section of the course, the water problem was so severe, Kevin decided to reroute future runners a few yards to the left rather than trying to divert the natural ‘puddling’ effect that the water run-off created. As is the case with all community based Eagle Scout endeavors, any funds that are left over from a project are to be donated to charity.
Kevin Ciampa, wearing the red hat, digs in with friends and during his Eagle Scout community project of repairing sections of the PHS X-country course
A section of the course where Ciampa actually altered the original track in an attempt to permanently resolve a run-off water issue
Kevin’s desire was for any excess funds to be donated to the Pelham Challenge Little League, which is an organization in Pelham that helps young individuals with mental or physical disabilities.
Special School District Meeting Set
by Barbara O’Brien A Special School District Meeting, the purpose
of which is to lower the amount of money to be raised for the construction of a kindergarten addition to Windham’s Golden Brook School, has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 4. School administrators said the meeting needs to be held as soon as possible so that “their colleagues on the town-side can get the tax rate set.” The annual tax rate is generally set by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) by mid-October of each year. School board members decided that a Special
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School District Meeting needed to be held to reduce the impact on taxpayers. In March, the majority of voters approved spending up to $2.9 million to build a seven-room addition to Golden Brook, the purpose of which would be to house the school district’s public kindergarten program. At the time, voters were told that 75 percent of the money needed to build the addition would come from State coffers. After the fact, however, due to budget deficits at the State level, the funding allocated to the Windham School District for the kindergarten addition was reduced to $1 million, instead of the original 75 percent anticipated. The warrant article that was passed last March also stated that no more than $900,000 of the total cost would need to be raised through new property taxes. With the loss of the anticipated State revenue, however, the cost to local taxpayers would have climbed. In order to prevent that from happening, school officials and the architect handling the project went back to the drawing board and, subsequently, came up with a proposal totaling $300,000 less than the one originally presented last March. It is this $2.6 million proposed kindergarten addition that voters will be asked to consider on October 4. According to SAU 28 Business Administrator Adam Steel, “The original project budget of $2,900,000 has been reduced by removing optional equipment, landscaping and non- essential pieces of the project.” “All the changes are very subtle,” Interim Superintendent Henry LaBranche said. “We have maintained the integrity of the building,” including the seven classrooms, as originally proposed.
When questioned as to how sure he was that the State Department of Education would hold to its latest promise of $1 million in building aid, Steel said, “I am reasonably confident.” Steel said that the State Budget is actually now in existence, and does include $1 million for the Windham School District’s kindergarten addition. Last March, the money had not actually been appropriated, he stated. “It is ear-marked for us, now,” Steel told school board members. “I can’t guarantee anything, but I am reasonably certain.” Steel explained that the $1 million would not be forthcoming in advance, but that the Windham School District would be reimbursed as the project proceeds, up to a total of $1 million. Also helping to offset the cost of the kindergarten addition is the unreserved fund balance left over from the 2010-2011 school year, an amount totaling $622,191. Steel had been estimating since early last spring that the unreserved fund balance would be somewhere between $500,000 and $700,000. School board members commended Steel for the accuracy of his earlier estimation. Dr. LaBranche said that he expects the school district will receive “some aggressive bids” on the project due to the sluggish economy. It is anticipated that, if the new proposal is approved at the upcoming Special School District Meeting, that occupancy of the new kindergarten addition will occur by August 1, 2012, just in time for the 2012-2013 school year. School board members voted 4 to 0 to hold the Special School District Meeting. Voting in favor were Chairman Ed Gallagher and board members Michelle Farrell, Stephanie Wimmer and Jeff Bostic. Vice-Chairman Bruce Anderson did not attend the September 6 meeting where the vote was taken. A public hearing on the new proposal will be held on Tuesday, September 20 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Windham High School. School board members are encouraging all registered Windham voters to attend both the public hearing on September 20 and the Special School District Meeting on October 4, both slated for 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Windham High School. There will be no other business conducted during the Special School District Meeting.
Scholarship Transferred to Windham High School
by Barbara O’Brien Fifteen years ago, the parents of Michael P.
Brown of Windham established a scholarship in the name of their son. Michael had passed away only a week after his graduation from Salem High School. For the past decade and a half, that scholarship has been awarded to deserving graduates of Salem High School. Now that
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Windham has its own high school, however, things are changing. During the Windham School Board meeting on September 6, board members voted unanimously to accept the award of the Michael P. Brown Scholarship and to present it annually to graduates of the new Windham High School. Windham High’s very first graduating class will receive its diplomas next June as the “Class of 2012.” “It’s time to move the scholarship to Windham High School,” Interim Superintendent Henry LaBranche said. LaBranche is a former superintendent at Salem High School. LaBranche said that the Michael
P. Brown Scholarship would be awarded annually to two graduating seniors, one a male, the other a female. Recipients will be chosen based on their good sportsmanship and team spirit, as well as a grade point average requirement. LaBranche noted that choices would be made by the high school athletic director and the superintendent, based on input from the high school guidance department.
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Pub: Hudson-Li tchf ield News & Pelham-Windham News Si ze: 3 x 9” (5.75” x 9” ) Inser t ion: 8/19/11, 8/26/11, 9/2/11, 9/9/11, 9/16/11
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