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Phase I of Kingswood reconstruction is on schedule

THE PRESSURE WAS ON for Superintendent Jack Robertson (right) and school board vice chair John Widmer when Crescent Lake School sixth grade student Siobhan Shamlian tested them on their math skills with a creative card game last Monday evening, March 1 – just one of four games played by the school board members that night as part of a demonstration of the school’s math program. (Heather Terragni photo) (click for larger version)
March 04, 2010
WOLFEBORO — The Governor Wentworth Regional School Board met last Monday evening, March 1, at Crescent Lake School.

School board member Ernie Brown updated the board on the progress of the Kingswood complex building project. Work is on schedule and as Phase I, the construction of the new multipurpose building, begins to go vertical, plans are well under way to begin Phase II, the renovation and expansion of existing buildings, at the end of the school year.

With the arrival of a large crane on Monday, crews will begin to hang the steel frame of the new multipurpose building. So far 162 of the approximately 300 necessary wells for the new geothermal heating and cooling system have been dug, 69 of which have been grouted. The basic foundation and structure of several wings of the multipurpose building have been completed. The multipurpose building is on schedule for substantial completion in December 2010, though the classrooms in the building will be needed in September.

The board voted to approve a light gray roof tile over a green tile for the buildings due to the green tile's shorter warranty. The light gray tile is guaranteed for 30 years, whereas the green, a new color for the product, is only guaranteed for 20 years. Superintendent Jack Robertson explained that CMK Architects felt that they had represented to the public last winter that the roof would be green, however they also sought a 30-year warranty. The board agreed that sticking to the 30-year warranty was more important.

The board viewed a 10-minute clip of a longer 39-minute program produced by Peter Pijoan of Wolfeboro Community Television. The program features an on-site explanation of Phase I work currently going on at the Kingswood complex in which Thomas Boudette, the project's Clerk of the Works, and Wolfeboro's Allan Bailey, explain the project's multiple layers of work, including information on the bore hole drilling procedures, the geothermal component, and the installation of three large holding tanks buried on-site for the reuse of runoff for field irrigation and toilet use. The program has aired on local channel 25.

Other news

Robertson announced that once again school was held on Saturday to make up for an earlier school cancellation due to inclement weather. On Saturday, Feb. 13, attendance ranged from 79 percent to 93.6 percent throughout the district's schools. There are currently no additional snow days to make up.

Robertson encouraged district residents to get out and vote on March 9. Several resources are available for voter information including a flyer that explains each of the warrant articles in layman's terms and was mailed out last week to residents. The PowerPoint presentation shown at the Jan. 30 Deliberative Session and all the warrant articles are on the district's Web site http://www.govwentworth.k12.nh.us/. Several school board members have also been presenting information on the articles at town meetings and candidate nights. If voters still have questions regarding any of the warrant articles they are encouraged to contact either Superintendent Robertson or any of the school board members for clarification.

Two of the more confusing of the seven warrant articles are Articles II and III. Article II, "to raise and appropriate up to $301,722 to pay off incurring debt as a result of construction of school buildings, including the purchase of sites and any additions or renovations of school buildings and authorize the withdrawal of that amount from the debt retirement fund created by Chapter 131 laws of 2004 for that purpose," sounds costly, but if approved, will actually benefit taxpayers by lowering the money needed to be raised by taxes. The $301,722 doesn't need to be raised as it is already in a fund created to offset future debt service payments. The money came from the proceeds of the sale of the old Effingham elementary school building.

Article III, "to raise and appropriate up to the sum of $200,000, such sum representing the interest earnings on the investment of the portion of the $67,242,614 in bonds authorized at the District's 2009 annual meeting that have not already been issued (the 'Bonds'), such investment earnings to be used for the school projects at the Kingswood Complex (collectively the "Project") to be financed with the Bonds. As the appropriation of these interest earnings for the Project is only necessary if the Bonds are to be issued as 'Build America Bonds' (as described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), this Article shall be of force and effect only to the extent that the Project is financed with Build America Bonds," allows the district another option when considering where to borrow money for Phase II of the project. Build America Bonds will only be used if they offer a financial value and benefit the taxpayers, but that won't be known until it gets closer to the actual sale of the bond. Typically the board has always favored using any interest earned on bond proceeds as a credit to local taxes, but Build America Bonds require that interest money earned must be used on a capital project. If this article is defeated, the district becomes more limited in its funding options.

Board member Don Meader clarified that this article needs to be approved for the board to even have the option of using Build America Bonds.

School board member Charlene Seibel commented that these two articles ask voters' "permission to save them money."

Readers should not miss the Kingswood Regional High School Theater Program's performance of two original plays, "Two Worlds" directed by Kingswood students Kristina Adjutant and Haylea Erickson and "Branding 2012," Kingswood's official entry for the 2010 New Hampshire Educational Theater Guild Theater Festival, written by the Kingswood theatre group. The plays will be held together on Friday, March 12, and Saturday, March 13, at 7 p.m. in the Kingwood auditorium. Tickets will be available at the door. The group will compete in the Theater Festival March 20 in Plymouth.

The board will meet again on Monday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at Effingham Elementary School for board reorganization and a regular business meeting.

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