School Board Sets Bond Hearing for Paving, Roofing

The School Board will hold a bond hearing Jan. 16 to discuss a $4 million bond for physical plant maintenance. A similar bond was defeated by 11 votes at the polls last March.
School District Business Director Peter Curro told the School Board at its Thursday, Dec. 19 meeting that he had met with Town Finance Director Sue Hickey and was told the town was not pursuing a bond this year. A decision was needed that night as to whether the School Board wanted to schedule a bond hearing.

Board member Steve Young said that as long as there was no competing bond from the Town, it made good business sense to have one.
Curro asked if the board wanted to discuss the possibility of a maintenance bond. Board member Leitha Reilly said she agreed with Young that it would be a good business decision.
Curro said if they didn’t have a bond, then the Maintenance Trust should be raised from around $500,000 to $850,000; if they wanted a bond, it could stay at $500,000. “Rates are good, but not as good as last year,” he said.
The bond would be for 10 years.
According to Facilities Director Chuck Zappala, the possible bond that will be discussed Jan. 16 is similar but not identical to the bond that failed last year.
The items that are listed for action, should the bond pass, are: Replace the roof at the middle school Multi Purpose room and classrooms, $475,000; replace the roof over THE classroom wing at the middle school $260,000; paving at Matthew Thornton School, $600,000; vestibule security upgrades district wide, $200,000; replace roof at the high school (phase 5), $280,000; replace roof over connector hall at the high school, $$130,000; replace roof (phases 4 and 6) at the high school, $$550,000; overcoat the gym roof at the high school, $100,000; pave the front parking lot at the middle school, $350,000; replace roof at Moose Hill School, $410,000; food service renovations at the high school, $100,000; pave the west side and drop-off area of Moose Hill School, $70,000 and field improvements district wide, $350,000, for a total of $3,875,000.Board member John Robinson asked for clarification that they were not authorizing a bond that evening, but Curro said the board’s next meeting, set for Jan. 7, would be too late to announce a bond hearing because of posting requirements.
Superintendent of Schools Nathan Greenberg said a bond was the appropriate way to go, but if that route were not chosen, the board needed to decide how much to put into the Maintenance Trust.
Hendricks noted that if they had a bond on the warrant and it failed, everything funded by the bond could not be done.
Curro suggested a $4 million bond.
The board consensus was to hold a bond hearing Jan. 16.
In discussing his budget, Londonderry School District Facilities Director Chuck Zappala said the district’s physical plant is one of the largest in New Hampshire.
“We have seven buildings totaling 690,000 square feet and over 200 acres of grounds and playing fields,” he told the School Board at its Thursday, Dec. 19 meeting. “The FY 15 Buildings and Grounds operating budget is $2,057,490, an increase of about one tenth of a percent of the current budget. The operating budget is the cost of the day-to-day operations of the facilities.”
Out of that sum, approximately half, or about $1 million, is for utilities,” he said.
Zappala said the district was in the 14th year of a conservation program and its total cost avoidance to date is over $12.8 million. The district has earned the Energy Star award for five buildings and was recognized as being in the top 5 percent of public school buildings in the United States for conservation.
“Aside from utilities, the remainder of the funding in the operating accounts would pay for supplies and repairs,” he said. Those include field fertilizer, ice melt – “we’ve literally used a ton of ice melt in the last week,” he said – and cleaning and paper products.
Zappala said he is requesting replacement equipment for the custodial, grounds and facilities maintenance departments. “All these items have an expected life of at least five years, and these purchases are made through an RFP (Request For Proposal) and a bid process,” he said. “Included in the request are two replacement vehicles, a one-ton dump/plow truck for district-wide grounds, and a cargo van for the electrician.”
He said the Maintenance Trust Fund, funded though a separate warrant article, pays for large projects such as paving, roof replacement and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) upgrades.
Zappala said the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that goes until 2022 or 2026, depending on whether a bond is used, includes nearly $7 million in identified needs.
“We need to make some decisions soon as to the increased funding for the Maintenance Trust,” Zappala said.
Curro said this year there will not be a capital lease, as has been done it in the past 10 or 12 years. “But in the Buildings and Grounds budget is a lease purchase, so it’s a one-year cost for a three-year lease purchase for an HVAC van and truck. So it is not outright buying them, it’s a three-year lease purchase,”
Zappala said the district works closely with the town during snow events. The town’s front-end loaders load the school sanders.
Board chairman Nancy Hendricks asked about the possibility of negotiating a lower price for oil. Curro said that the only school still on oil was the South School, with all other buildings using natural gas.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter