Pelham-Windham News

Windham School District Warrant Articles Proposed

Windham School District has moved ahead since the Co-op High School with Pelham met defeat at the polls last September. The School Board is now proposing to buy property and build a Windham high school on that property. Toward that end two warrant articles have been submitted that will support the efforts to build a new high school.

The warrant article to purchase 146 acres of land, “known as Tax Map 20, Lot 1500 and Tax Map 14, Lot 2200 asks voters to authorize a bond in the amount of $8,863,000 for that purchase.

Team Design, Inc. presented a report to Windham School District on that land. According to a letter from Team Design President, Daniel A. Bisson, Team Design staff made an extensive nine week study of the proposed site on London Bridge Road and have “diligently gathered information on the feasibility of building a high school with parking and play fields on the London Bridge property.” This study, done at the request of Windham School Board, was used to determine whether the property would be suitable for a high school. The results of that study found the site to be adequate for building a high school.

The main findings of the report were:

  • “Present wetlands crossing reviewed by GES was found to be permittable.”
  • Geotechnical services provided by Miller Engineering and Testing, Inc. concluded that the “subsurface conditions are favorable for design and construction of the proposed school building upon a conventional spread footing foundation and slab-on-grade system.” A total of 23 borings were made.
  • “Entrance from Route 111 onto London Bridge Road was reviewed by Appledore Engineering, Inc. (AEI) With Al Turner, Town Planner. Alignment of London Bridge Road to Route 111 is ongoing.
  • AEI reviewed upgrading of London Bridge Road to proposed high school site and determined that a 6% slope can be maintained with moderate cuts and fills.
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, completed by Miller Engineering and Testing, Inc., found and concluded that no evidence of environmental liabilities, liens or activity and use limitations are present. Miller’s recommendation, “does not recommend any further environment investigation of the Site at this time.”
  • Doucet Survey, Inc. acquired topography survey thru aerial photography from Eastern Topographics. Doucet Survey has provided field survey for ground control points and has delivered to the design team site.”

Purchasing the land is critical to building a new high school. Windham School Board, hoping that both this and the warrant for the school will pass, urges voters to vote affirmatively on the land purchase.

The second warrant article is for $34,220,013 for the construction and furnishing of an expandable Windham High School.

Windham School District has one collective bargaining warrant article (number 4) this year. It asks voters to support the agreement between the School District and the Windham Education Association. It calls “for the following increases in salaries and benefits:

Year 2005 - 06 $373,982

Year 2006 - 07 $339,127

Year 2007 - 08 $354,955.

Warrant article number 7 asks that if warrant article number 4 is defeated that voters “authorized the governing body to call one special meeting, as its option to address Article #4 cost items only.”

Also being requested is a new fifth grade teacher for the Windham Center School. The warrant article is for $50,000, which represents both salary and benefits.

Windham Middle School still has two underground oil tanks. The School Board proposed a warrant article in the amount of $40,000 for the “labor, materials and equipment necessary for the removal, disposal and replacement of two underground fuel oil tanks.” School Board members told the audience at the Public Hearing that this was a critical project.

The one petitioned warrant article asks that a committee be formed to “reopen negotiations with the Town of Salem, New Hampshire in order to continue the Windham/Salem area agreement. The objective of these negotiations between Windham and Salem will be to resolve overcrowding at Salem High School and ensure a long-term, productive partnership between the two towns.” The School Board did not recommend this warrant article.

Costs of Educating Windham High School Students

Windham School Board provided the following costs for Windham residents so that a better understanding of the cost of educating a high school pupil could be fostered.

Student Population:

Salem Students 1625 71.4%

Windham Students 650 28.6%

Total 2275 100 %

School Budget:

Salem $10,049,607 66.7%

Windham $ 5,026,852 33.3%

Total $15,076,459 100 %

High School Projected Operating Costs in 2008:

Project Student Population = 686

Per Pupil Estimated Cost = $8,800

686 x $8,800 = $6,036,800.

Pelham Fire Ice Rescue Training

by Jack Tireell

On January 22 the Pelham Fire Department conducted its Ice Rescue training program at the Spa and Spindle Girl Scout Camp on Little Island Pond. Despite temperatures in the single digits and the threat of an oncoming blizzard, department members performed rescues through the ice utilizing ropes, ladders, and the Rescue Alive Sled, as well as the department’s hovercraft. The Pelham Fire Department continually trains for many types of emergencies and advises that people utilizing the area ponds for recreational purposes use good judgment and common sense before venturing out.

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