2 - December 9, 2011 | Pelham - Windham News WHS Hosts Second Annual Winter Ball
by Doug Robinson Over 300 Windham High
School students, dressed for success and to impress, participated at the second Annual Winter Ball, held at Windham High School. The semi-formal event
Sophomores Emily and Nicholas, enjoy the moment during their Winter Ball date.
was hosted by the Student Council. Funds received for the event are shared equally between all grades as well as the student activity committee. Special lighting, music, and balloons offered the students area to dance, have their pictures taken, and even grab a bite to eat. While some women courted corsages, the men sported boutonnieres.
Dressed to impress are Lauren Rogers, Kellie McDade, Marcela Trocha, Rachel Brissette, Morgan Colantuone, Sophia Panourgias, Rachael Ward, and Christy Teriault.
PES Annual Holiday Fair
The first Saturday in December marks the annual Holiday Fair for Pelham Elementary School. Hosted by the PTA, the fair features shopping opportunities, crafts, games, raffles and yummy snacks. This year, School Board member Deb Ryan was the master of ceremonies
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for the ever-popular cake walk. For a mere 50 cents, players had a shot at winning one of the many cakes, cookies and cupcakes sets donated by parents and community members. The gymnasium was the site of numerous vendors, selling everything from fancy holiday hair ribbons to
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School Board Member Deb Ryan was the spirited hostess of the Cake Walk.
scarves, jewelry, sports hats and shirts and many other items. The Pelham Memorial Boosters club had second- hand books for sale, and Cub Scout Pack 25 had several raffle baskets full of prizes. The cafeteria held all kinds of prize baskets, each with a theme and created by various classrooms. Mary Collins, long-time PTA member, was at the front table, encouraging
to try their luck on the baskets, or the KindleFire that was also being raffled. As always, the Holiday Fair would not be possible without the dedication of the PTA board members, and the many parent volunteers who help out.
Maria Estrada made this beautiful creation for the Cake Walk.
Kristie Archer, with daughters Evelyn and
Camile, were hoping to win one of the many raffle baskets put together by the classes at PES.
Friends since preschool, seniors, Jessica Steere, Kelly Michal, Brooke Cormier, and Denise Jones dance the night away at Windham’s second Annual Winter Ball
Pelham Budget Committee Supports HVAC Upgrade for PHS
by Diane Chubb With an 11-0 vote, the Pelham Budget Committee supported the Pelham School Board’s proposed warrant article asking voters to fund an upgrade to the HVAC system at Pelham High School. The current system is the original one, which was installed in 1974. Initially installed as completely electric, it was upgraded in 1995 to be oil driven on the heating end. In a 7-4 vote, the Budget Committee also supported extending air conditioning to the parts of the school currently without it. Under SB2, the School Board must present any proposed warrant articles that will require funding to the Budget Committee. The committee has the opportunity to ask questions, request further information and then vote in favor or against the proposed warrant articles. The related warrant articles request up to $500,000
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to upgrade the core components of the current HVAC at PHS and another $400,000 to install air conditioning into the parts of the building that do not current have AC. In February 2011, the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) had issued a report regarding the accreditation status of PHS, indicating numerous areas in which the building was deficient. One of the recommendations of the report was to upgrade the HVAC system. According to Business Administrator Adam Steel, the purpose of
the HVAC upgrade has 4 parts. First, the new system will be more energy efficient. This will save money in heating and cooling the building. Second, the temperature in the individual rooms within the
school will be more balanced. Currently, one classroom might be about 80 degrees or more, while others are in the 60s. This makes for a difficult situation for students and faculty who must be in various rooms during the day. Even with the new system, there may still be some rooms that are warmer than others, but it will be far less drastic than it is currently. The upgraded system will also provide more control over the entire system. Currently, some parts of the HVAC are not on the same system. Having competing systems can result in simultaneous cooling and heating in the building. Finally, the upgrade will address ambient room noise. The current system was installed between the ceiling and the roof. So when the vents are blowing, the noise is very apparent in the classrooms and can be distracting and noisy. The new system will be returned to the roof of the building,
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where it was originally placed. The duct work will reside between the ceiling and the roof. As Steel points out, this will make it far easier and cost effective to move the duct work as needed with any potential changes to, or reconfiguration of, the building. In March 2011, voters defeated a petitioned warrant article requesting $385,000 for an upgraded HVAC system. The figure had been pulled from a report by Marinace Architects, who had provided a plan and estimates for an upgrade and addition to PHS. Although rejected, the School Board realized the importance of pursuing the project and set about to get more accurate estimates for the cost of the project. Steel hired the mechanical engineering firm Fitzmeyer & Tocci from Boston to provide a thorough analysis of the upgrade to the HVAC. They came back with an estimate of $3.2 million. “They do great work,” said Steel, “but they were recommending the top of the line system. We went to another firm to get more practical estimates. While the proposed system may not be top of the line, it is a serviceable, stable, and effective system that will get the job done.” The upgrade to the core components of the system, including the heat and ventilation, and the air conditioning to the parts of the school that already have it, will be $500,000. It will be another $400,000 to provide AC to the rest of the building. “Our moderated approach is not perfect - we will still have some hot and cold rooms. Every teacher is not going to be 100 percent satisfied,” said Steel. “We can either buy 10 Honda Accords, where everyone can drive in their own direction, or get a school bus, in which everyone goes together. For us, the school bus approach is more efficient.” School Board member Brian Carton was pleased to receive the full support of the Budget Committee for this proposed project. “If voters pass these warrant articles, it will have a real effect on
overall morale in the school system and will be received well in eyes of NEASC.”
Carton and the other board members are very cognizant of
how the project would affect Pelham’s standing with NEASC. The association has been critical of the community for failing to support the school district through funding. “There are practical reasons to upgrade the HVAC, but it is a also one of most significant things that we can do, short of building or completely renovating the school. NEASC will recognize that as support on behalf of taxpayers,” says Carton.
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Staff photos by Doug Robinson
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