By Alex Malm
The School Board held a public hearing for their proposed bond of $5 million dollars for district wide infrastructure repair and replacement on Jan. 17.
It was explained by Business Administrator, Lisa McKenney, when they received the building needs assessment report back from the Trident Group, “It became clear it was going to be a long term plan. We weren’t going to be able to get all these projects done at once.”
She said they learned they have some mechanical and infrastructure needs that need to be done prior to the building renovations being done.
McKenney explained they are looking to get a bond approved so the district can make the needed repairs before something major fails entirely.
“We’re trying to be proactive here,” said McKenney.
Some of the projects included as part of the district wide infrastructure repair and replacement plan are $550,000 for the heating plant at the middle school and $500,000 for ventilation at the multi-purpose room at South School.
$170,000 is being budgeted for a pneumatic replacement at the high school and $1.3 million is being budgeted for the heating plant at Londonderry High School.
At Londonderry Middle School, $325,000 is being budgeted for pneumatic replacement, and $775,000 is being budgeted for ERU replacements at Londonderry High School. At South School, $575,000 is being budgeted for the heating plant and district wide, $300,000 is being budgeted for the Pump House.
McKenney noted that the repairs would likely create some savings. For example, the Middle School Heating Plant would mean a projected savings on energy by $20,000.
She said they have about $505,000 in contingencies built into the budget for the bond already, noting that it was strongly recommended by the Trident Group.
She said the list of projects is the bare minimum of what they need to get done
“We believe we need to do all of them at this time,” said McKenney.
Generally, McKenney said that the projects they are looking to complete with the bond funds would help to replace infrastructure that is 20 years past its useful lifes.
One question asked during the hearing was what the bond rates are expected to be.
McKenney said that they budgeted at 4%.
Budget Committee member, Jonathan Kipp, asked what would happen if the bond doesn’t pass.
Superintendent, Dan Black, said the issues they have wouldn’t go away.
“We have a problem. We have deferred maintenance for a really long time,” said Black.
He said they would likely try to get the bond passed again.
“These issues aren’t going away,” said Black.
School Board member, Bob Slater, said that although it seems like a lot of money, it will save the school district some money down the road especially with interest rates going up.
“I think it’s needed. I hope the voters will help us,” said Slater.
The School Board ultimately voted 4-0 in support of the bond.
In order for the bond to be approved two thirds of voters need to vote in support of it.