School Board to Ask Voters to Fund Construction

HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead School Board voted to move forward with renovation and construction projects at both Hampstead Middle and Hampstead Central schools, although the cost figure they voted on was later found to be incorrect and below the projected cost.

Assistant Superintendent Roxanne Wilson asked the School Board what it wished to do with the proposed renovation and new construction plans at the Nov. 12 meeting. The board chose to move ahead with the projects as proposed and to do so in a single warrant article. The sum includes a list of additional alternate items for Central School as well.
Wilson told the board the Facilities Committee had voted unanimously to include the alternates to the Central School proposed renovation and construction project, adding $597,300 to the cost of that project. The reason is that it would be less costly to do the work at the same time as the rest of the project.
The board discussed the project proposals and the choice of whether to use one warrant article or two. Members said that splitting the two school projects and putting in two articles would result in people saying no to the more expensive project for Central School and approving the less expensive one for the middle school, which is less needed.
Board members said the proposed work needs to be done. However, member Jaye Dimando took exception to that and said she has a problem with the logic of building an addition with six classrooms when eliminating the trailers would require only two classrooms in the main building.
She said enrollment is declining and she doesn’t think the board needs to do this project, but she would support whatever decision the board made.
Member Greg Hoppa said that over the next 20 years the enrollment is stable, so if it is needed now, it would be needed 20 years from now.
Member Jason Cipriano noted the last renovation and addition to Central School took place in 1988, and the board should be “forward looking,” to which Dimando said facetiously, “So the board should embrace a $5 million project because we haven’t done anything in 20 years?”
Member Jim Stewart said that what Dimando was expressing was what he heard many residents saying.
Wilson gave the figure for the project at $5,751,300, including both schools and the alternates proposed for Central School. The board took a vote on this during a brief absence by the chair, Natalie Gallo, who had indicated before she left that she favored moving the project forward as proposed. The board unanimously voted to move forward with the proposed project. The next step will be to see about bond issues.
However, the figure Wilson gave and on which the board voted proved to be incorrect. The next morning Wilson corrected the figures and said the board would have to vote on the amended amount at its next meeting.
The correct figure for the total project is $6,339,946. The components of that are as follows:
• Middle School – $816,555
• Central School – $4,926,091
• Alternates at Central School – $597,300
• Total, $6,339,946, which is $588,646 more than what the board approved.
The board learned from Wilson that Bread Loaf Corporation, Architects, Planners and Builders of Middlebury, Vt., which is in charge of the project, had accepted a Request for Proposals bid from S.W. Cole Company for the geotechnical engineering on the soil at Central School at a cost of $5,900. The amount Bread Loaf had put in its bid for this was $4,000.
Chris Huston, representing Bread Loaf, said the company would absorb the additional $1,900.
Wilson asked for the board’s authorization for Bread Loaf to move forward with the testing. The board unanimously approved the request.

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