Kingswood renovation project not affected by proposed state freeze


December 03, 2009
WOLFEBORO — While state legislators in Concord discuss a possible moratorium on school building aid, the Kingswood complex renovation and expansion project funding will remain intact, according to Governor Wentworth Regional School District Superintendent Jack Robertson.

Contacted Tuesday, Robinson said that to the best of his knowledge what is being discussed in Concord only reflects funding for future projects that have not yet been approved.

"Had we waited a year for approval (which we almost did because of the economy), we could have been caught in the state's moratorium and left our local taxpayers with the financial responsibility of paying for 100 percent of the expense," he said.

As it stands now, the passage of the bond last March has secured 75 percent upfront aid for the vocational portion of the project and excludes the district from the moratorium being discussed, says Robertson. The 75 percent vocational aid is secure in the current state budget, and projects which have already been approved are excluded from the freeze.

Though Robertson acknowledges that there are never any guarantees, he is confident the Governor Wentworth Regional School District will receive the school building aid approved for it.

"As of today [Dec. 1], I have heard nothing that indicates that the state will renege on its past commitments and would be very surprised if the people of this state would allow that to happen. Reneging on its building aid commitment has not been the track record in this state for the past 50-plus years," the Superintendent said.

Reiterating Robertson's comments, New Hampshire Department of Education's Bureau of School Approval and Facility Management Administrator Edward R. Murdough, PE, sent out a release to all New Hampshire superintendents stating that on Dec. 1 the legislative study committee on School Building Aid voted in favor of a moratorium.

"The committee voted that they will recommend to the full legislature that a temporary suspension of building aid for new projects should be considered, but any such suspension should not be effective prior to May 30, 2010," he said.

Murdough explained that though this was just a recommendation, if it passed, projects being voted on before the end of May 2010 will still be eligible for building aid. The length of the suspension or which future projects might be exempt was not discussed.

Heather Terragni can be reached at 569-3126 or hterragni@salmonpress.com.

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