Projects that voters approved at the March election have begun, School District Buildings and Grounds Director Chuck Zappala said. Zappala said that as of July 5, all of those projects are either in progress or will begin soon, with the district’s having approved the proposal and issued a purchase order.
The projects include:
• An ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance of signs in Braille at Londonderry Middle School, as a student who is entering the school in the fall is blind, at a cost of $8,000.
• Refinishing the gymnasium floor at Londonderry High School, $8,000.
• Computer room renovations at LHS, $8,000.
• New windows for the cafeteria at Matthew Thornton Elementary School, $9,000.
• Replacing the carpet in two classrooms at Moose Hill Kindergarten, $5,000.
The overall total is $150,000.
“During budget season we collect information from the schools as to what they need for repairs and we submit that information to the administration,” Zappala explained. “This past season we gave a practical wish list of $378,300 to the administration and they came back with a budget of $150,000 and said, ‘what can you do with this?’ So I sat down and some things had to go and other things were modified, and we were able to come up with a list of projects that met the budgeted amount.”
In addition to the items listed above, the district is also installing security upgrades that were funded through a special warrant article in March. “Panic buttons and high powered two-way radios were purchased in June,” Zappala said. “A card access and outside door alarm monitoring project has just started. When completed in late August, we will have several doors at each school which can be unlocked by our staff with a key fob-type device. Also, all exterior doors, 254 of them, will be electronically monitored to provide a warning to main office staff at each school if an unauthorized door is left open.”
The district-wide maintenance Fiscal Year 2014 trust fund, which is funded through a separate warrant article, is funding more work. “These projects are typically higher priced, one-time items,” Zappala said. Among those projects is one to replace a section of roof at the high school. “We had budgeted $260,000 for the project and the lowest bid was $219,000 so we saved some money there, but if they find any wet insulation, that would boost the price by about $5,000,” Zappala said.
District-wide testing and repairs to buried electrical lines have a price tag of $30,000 and according to Zappala, testing is still being performed. “At the high school and South School, welding repairs to a heating system need to be done and will cost about $20,000, and replacing the North School gym floor will cost $105,000. District-wide repairs of the grounds, fields, drainage and fence repairs will cost $40,000,” Zappala said. He said he anticipates that all projects will be completed prior to the start of school in late August.