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12 - January 6, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News Kindergarten Construction on Schedule by Barbara O’Brien


As of the end of December, the kindergarten addition being added to Golden Brook School in Windham was coming along as anticipated. “We’re where we expect to be at this point,” Interim School Superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche reported. Originally, the kindergarten addition was


approved in a total amount of $2.9 million with 75 percent coming from State coffers. Due to budget constraints at the State level, however, the New Hampshire Department of Education contribution was reduced to $1 million. After learning of the cut in State funds, school administrators reduced the scope of the addition, bringing the total anticipated cost down to about $2.5 million. The size of the building was not altered due to the reduction in the budget, however. The seven-classroom structure was approved by


voters last March and is expected to be ready for next year’s kindergartners before summer’s end of 2012. Thus far, the majority of construction has focused on site work; a process that LaBranche


said has gone well despite students being in attendance at Golden Brook at the time. The foundation was expected to be completed by the beginning of January. According to SAU 28 Business Administrator Adam Steel, all bids for the construction of the building have now been received and were in the process of being reviewed at year’s end. Steel said he anticipates that the project will come in slightly under budget, based on recently submitted quotes. He said he expects that additional savings will be realized as the project proceeds, bringing the total cost to perhaps as low as $2.1 million. “This is good news,” School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher responded. “Sounds like the project is right on track.” “Under budget is good,” Vice- Chairman Bruce Anderson said, referring to the potential savings.


Golden Brook Principal Debra Armfield commended the parents of children affected by the ongoing construction. “They’re great,” she said. “Very flexible and understanding.” “We’re all really doing fine at Golden Brook,” Armfield assured school board members.


Program of Studies at WHS Approved by Barbara O’Brien


On the recommendation of school administrators, including Windham High School Principal Tom Murphy, school board members have unanimously approved a comprehensive Program of Studies to be implemented with the 2012-2013 school year, beginning in July. The curriculum offered at Windham High


School “takes shape from year to year,” Murphy told school board members during the final meeting of 2011, explaining that the courses that will ultimately be offered will depend on the level of student interest. “The higher the level of student interest, the more likely the student will be successful,” he explained. In developing the Program of Studies, Murphy said he conducted a student interest survey and also coordinated the proposed courses with teacher expertise. Principal Murphy also said he discussed the program with administrators in other regional school districts.


A total of approximately 80 courses are offered


at Windham High School. Not all of the courses contained in the Program of Studies are likely to be offered every year, however, Murphy commented. Windham High School is currently in its third year of operation. This is the first year, however, that all four grade levels have been in attendance. The first senior class will graduate this coming June. Referring to the wide range of courses offered at the local high school, School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said he believes it is “more important to zero in on the depth, than on the breadth, of offerings.”


When questioned as to her satisfaction with the Program of Studies, SAU 28 Assistant Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz replied, “We can always do better, but I am satisfied with the progress being made in curriculum development.


Lecaroz said administrators are working hard to eliminate any redundancy in programs. “It’s getting easier to tweak and refine” the curriculum, due to all the effort being put into program development, she said. Murphy said that the new Program of Studies


for Windham High School fulfills all New Hampshire Department of Education requirements for graduation. In addition to the State required courses, Windham also requires graduates to have one more Science credit, plus a half more credit in Fine Arts. After taking into account all required courses, students are able to take 7.5 elective credits during their high school careers. “The guidance department is on top of assuring that each student is on track for graduation,” Murphy assured school board members. School Board Vice-Chairman Bruce Anderson commented that he feels “New Hampshire State standards are pitifully low.” That’s why members of the high school curriculum development committee “set the bar high” eight years ago, when they first began formulating a program of studies, some five years before the facility was even built. “We have to make choices,” Murphy stated, explaining the process when administrators develop programs of studies, then adding that he would actually prefer to have more physical education requirements. “It’s important to encourage an active life-style,” he stated. The community of Windham, however, seems to prefer to place more emphasis on academics and the arts, he added. A high number of Windham High School students do participate in extra-curricular athletic programs, however, Murphy reported, with as many as 70 percent of those currently enrolled participating in one or more sports activity.


Nesmith Library Invited to Join Area Co-op


by Barbara O’Brien For the first time in 17 years, the Greater


Manchester Integrated Library Cooperative System (GMILCS) has invited a new member to join the area group. The library selected for that honor is Windham’s Nesmith Library.


According to Carl Heidenblad, Director of the Nesmith Library, 10 other public libraries, plus one academic library currently comprise the membership of GMILSC and have done so since 1994. Participating public libraries include Salem, Manchester, Amherst, Bedford, Goffstown, Derry and Merrimack, plus New England College in Henniker. The vacancy being offered to Windham was created when Southern New Hampshire University withdrew from the cooperative this past year.


Heidenblad said the invitation to join GMILSC “is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of outstanding technology and equipment.” “This would be a great convenience to [library] patrons,” he stated. “It is a very attractive proposition.”


Under the GMILSC agreement, Windham residents holding a Nesmith Library card would be able to make use of the facilities and collections at any of these other member libraries. “This would become a common borrower card, Heidenblad noted. A recurring yearly fee that would be charged


to Windham for its membership in GMILSC presently totals $24,684. The annual fee is based on population and library usage, Heidenblad explained. “I expect the fee to hold steady for the next couple of years,” he said. The funding for GMILSC is currently included in the 2012 library operating budget. Heidenblad said the money for the fee was garnered by reallocating money from elsewhere in the budget. There is no proposed increase in the Nesmith Library’s overall 2012 proposed budget, according to Heidenblad. In fact, there is a slight decrease from 2011 of .4 percent. “I consider this a significant achievement,” he added.


Heidenblad said he feels joining the library


cooperative would be “the most significant step that has been taken since the library was built in 1997.” Joining GMILSC would require a contractual agreement with the other entities belonging to the cooperative. If displeased with the membership, however, it would be possible for Windham to withdraw from the organization or, on the other hand, for the organization to ask for Windham’s resignation. Selectmen’s Chairman Ross McLeod said, “It looks like a real win-win for the citizens of Windham.” Selectman Phil LoChiatto said he is “a big fan of regionalization” and supports Windham joining the library cooperative.


Fire Department Hoping for Federal Grant for New Breathing Apparatus


by Barbara O’Brien Whether it gets the federal grant it has applied for


or not, the Windham Fire Department will still need to replace its self-contained breathing apparatus in the not too distant future. Fire Chief Tom McPherson said he is optimistic


that the department will receive the 95 percent Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Assistance for a Firefighter grant, but had not yet received final notification as of the end of December. The total cost of replacing the 22 existing pieces


of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), plus adding six more to the supply would cost $214,000. With FEMA paying 95 percent, the Town of Windham would be responsible for the other $10,700 (5 %). “This is our Number One Priority,” McPherson told selectmen, regarding the acquisition of new breathing equipment. Acquiring the new equipment would bring the Windham Fire Department up to compliance with national firefighting standards. The new equipment has been redesigned to promote enhanced firefighter safety, McPherson stated. The proposed purchase is being put forth to voters next March through a separate warrant article.


It


is also included in the town’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2012. McPherson said the last time the SCBA was re-


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placed in 2003. Changes to the national standards regarding breathing apparatus occurred in 2007. Recommen- dations are that SCBA be replaced every seven to ten


years. “If the breathing apparatus is not working, firefighters aren’t allowed to enter a hazardous en- vironment,” McPherson said. The new units would protect firefighters against chemical, radiological, environmental, bacterial and nuclear contamination. The masks must be individually fitted and tested on an annual basis, McPherson explained. The FEMA grant also includes funding for training a local fire- fighter to do the equipment testing in-house. At present, the Windham Fire Department does


not have any SCBA on its ambulances, meaning that the equipment wouldn’t be available if an ambulance was the first on scene. “Without the necessary equipment, we would be putting firefighters at risk,” McPherson said. “Grant or not, the new equipment will need to be procured in the next year or two,” he continued. “We’re already seeing wear and tear on the existing equipment.” McPherson also commented that the Windham Fire Department will be out of compliance with national standards if the new equipment is not purchased in the next year or so. Selectman Phil LoChiatto said he is “all for


making sure the guys are safe,” but that his biggest concern is the “never-ending cycle” of national compliance standards changing. McPherson informed LoChiatto of how much more often SCBA is used now, than in the past, due largely to the more hazardous materials firefighters are now likely to encounter. Assistant Fire Chief Ed Morgan responded to


LoChiatto’s comment by saying how senseless it is that “changes only occur when a tragedy happens; when something goes wrong with the equipment.” “We’d be remiss if we didn’t bring this [proposal] forward,” Morgan said.


Relay For Life of Pelham Kick-Off Rally Scheduled


submitted by Maria Moujaes, Relay For Life of Pelham On January 9, the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of


Pelham will officially get underway as cancer survivors, caregivers, families, schools, companies, faith-based and civic organizations gather at the Chunky’s Cinema Pub at 6 p.m. for a kick-off rally to launch their fundraising efforts for the year. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing


event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. People from all walks of life come together with a shared mission of furthering the American Cancer Society’s vision of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites during Relay.


Mark your calendar for the 2012 Relay For Life of Pelham scheduled


for June 9 at Pelham Elementary School, Harris Family Track and Field. Anyone interested in forming a team, volunteering for the event, joining the planning committee, or just learning more about Relay For Life is encouraged to attend. Relay For Life events in New Hampshire raised over $1.99 million


last year enabling the American Cancer Society to impact the lives of those touched by cancer within the community by supporting vital, cutting-edge cancer research; providing cancer patients with services such as transportation to treatment, free lodging at our Hope Lodge, and round the clock support at our national cancer information center available at 1-800-227-2345 anytime, day or night; publishing lifesaving literature on cancer prevention, detection and tobacco control; and developing a new generation of medicines that help those battling cancer. For more information about the Relay For Life of Pelham, to find


Circulation: HLN - 12,500 homes • PWN - 10,500 homes • Salem - 13,300 homes


out how to volunteer, or to RSVP for the Relay Kick-off contact the American Cancer Society at 471-4112 or pelham_relay@cancer.org. The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, the Society fights for every birthday threatened by every cancer in the community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.6 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about the American Cancer Society or to get help, call anytime, day or night, at 1-800- 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.


2012


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