Moose Hill Warrant Articles Separated by School Board

After months of discussion, the School Board held a bond hearing regarding a warrant article which will ask voters to approve an expansion project for Moose Hill and a warrant article to make kindergarten full day in Londonderry.
The overcrowding project would be $23.1 million, and would address what district officials describe as a space need at the school.
It would include 24,646 square feet of additions and renovations, including renovating seven learning spaces, adding 15 new learning – therapy or office spaces, adding five adult bathrooms compared to only having one now, renovating the main office, and making a safer school entrance along with other improvements.
The full day kindergarten expansion would add 18.013 square feet and would include 11 new full size kindergarten classrooms, adding a cafeteria/ gym, and adding an additional adult bathroom.
It was noted by Black that starting in 2025-2026 they would be seeing a decrease in bond payments for older projects.
“The investments from a couple of decades ago are coming to an end,” he said.
Town Councilor, Ted Combes, said he is supporting the bond and was on the Building Committee, which recommended the project, after vetting the proposal along with the costs.
“This is the right time financially, but also the right time school wise,” he said.
He said the committee had 85 to 95 years of experience in different areas and they found “the numbers were very spot on with the cost of this project.”
Tony DeFrancesco said that either way, the space needs issue won’t go away.
“Regardless of whatever else happens, there is a space needs issue at Moose Hill,” he said.
“That is not going to go away,” DeFrancesco added.
School Board member, Tim Porter, said he viewed the full day kindergarten project as a “want.”
“At this point, I believe a full day program falls in the category of a want not a need,” he said.
School Board Chair, Bob Slater, said he is in support of full day kindergarten, and the space needs project.
“The last five years we have been out of space at Moose HIll,” Slater said.
Originally going into the meeting, the proposal was to include both the expansion project and all day kindergarten question into one warrant article, however, Slater said he thought they should make it two separate warrant articles.
“We’re breaking it up so it can run on its own merit,” Slater said, thinking they would be able to get more “yes” votes if people are able to vote on each question separately.
The rest of the School Board agreed.
Combes said he was opposed to splitting up the warrant article.
“The building committee never recommended two articles,” Combes said, noting that he is concerned with continuing issues and the cost of the project going up.
“It’s just going to get worse if we push this can down the road, like we’ve done with other projects” he said.
The Moose Hill expansion project to address space needs, will ask voters to approve raising and appropriating $23.1 million, which would have an estimated tax rate impact of 9 cents in year one, 28 cents in year two, and 27 cents in year three. The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend the warrant article and the Budget Committee voted 6-1 to recommend the warrant article.
For the full day kindergarten warrant article, voters will be asked to approve raising and appropriating $11.1 million, which would have an estimated tax rate impact of 4 cents in year one, 14 cents in year two, and 13 cents in year three.
The School Board voted 4-1 to recommend the article and the Budget Committee voted 4-3 in support of the warrant article.
More details about the project can be found on the district website

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