The School Board voted 5-0 to approve a $26,000 assessment of educational spaces for all Londonderry school buildings.
The study will focus on a complete demographic assessment of the community and creation of an understanding of local educational programs, their compliance with state standards and their adaptability to 21st century learning expectations, Superintendent Nate Greenberg told the Board at its Sept. 8 meeting.
“The New Hampshire School Administrators Association (NHSAA) will create a profile of how existing space (building and land) is utilized in all the school buildings, with an analysis of educational efficiency; and develop suggestions for improvement in the use of those spaces,” the NHSAA wrote in its proposal to the District.
“I think we have reached a point where we have seen the utilization of facilities and fluctuations in demographics in terms of enrollment,” Greenberg said, recommending the assessment of the District.
The NHSAA will develop a “dynamic space analysis,” a 100 percent utilization analysis of how space is and may be utilized, which will facilitate the production of a functional educational analysis that accommodates changes in projected enrollment and necessary adjustments due to state guidelines, Greenberg said.
Because Greenberg is a member of the NHSAA, the District received an $11,100 discount off the cost of the analysis.
To complete its study, the NHSAA will meet with central office staff, tour school buildings and grounds while classes are in session, and complete a demographic trend analysis.
“As part of our analysis, we will investigate local conditions with the Town and school agents, and analyze the data in comparison to historic data, including births, building permits, census information, overall population trends, regional trends, and more,” the NHSAA wrote.
As part of the independent investigation, the NHSAA will also create a prioritized listing of potential alternatives for elementary and middle schools’ housing and usage.
A stipulation in the District’s contract with the NHSAA is that additional costs may be included if the project’s scope is increased and such charges are jointly agreed to by the District and the NHSAA.
“I worry about ‘scope creep,’” member Leitha Reilly said. “If there is any kind of scope creep, when will we hear about it?”
Greenberg said he had “a very lengthy conversation” with the primary principal of the (NHSAA), and he doesn’t think there will be any “scope creep.”
Other Districts for which the association has completed similar reports are Oyster River, Winnisquam, Kearsarge and Epping.
Member John Laferriere asked Greenberg if any of those other Districts have found the final report to be meaningful, choosing to follow the recommendations.”
“I think the final report would be good for a five years down the road update of population projections,” Greenberg said. “A lot will depend on the timeline of development of Woodmont (Commons).”
Greenberg anticipates the District will continue to see housing turnover in the south end of town, with more turnover throughout the community as equity in people’s homes increases and they no longer have children in the schools.
A public hearing will be scheduled to review the NHSAA’a final report, which is to be submitted to the District in January.