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Board thanked for historical donations

May 12, 2010
ALTON — Members of the Alton Historical Society appeared at Monday night's school board meeting to thank the board for its recent decision to donate several artifacts from the Alton Central School's past to the Society's museum.

A group of Society members came before the board at its last meeting on April 12 to ask whether some of the historic memorabilia currently tucked away in storage at Alton Central, such as yearbooks, graduation invitations and programs, reunion photos and school newspapers, could be transferred to the museum.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the proposal.

Society President Nancy Thomas thanked the board on the organization's behalf Monday night, and asked whether the Society could pass duplicate copies of old yearbooks and district reports along to other parties that might be interested in them.

Thomas also asked whether the items donated to the museum were now considered the property of the Historical Society (which the board confirmed), and whether the Society could have the first crack at any artifacts school officials might wish to dispose of in the future.

Board Vice Chair Terri Noyes felt that the idea of passing along duplicates of district reports or yearbooks "would be appropriate."

Commenting that the Gilman Library's collection of past school district reports has some sizable gaps, board member Krista Argiropolis asked that any duplicates the Historical Society wishes to dispose be offered to the library first. Thomas agreed.

Music teacher Andrea Passanisi said she and her students had recently found a collection of old band uniforms from Alton Central's days as a K-12 school that she felt would make a nice addition to the Historical Society's museum (which is located on the ground floor of the library).

"We think [the museum] would be a wonderful place for them to go to be seen," she said.

In response to Thomas' request that the Society be given first choice when artifacts are disposed of in the future, Superintendent Kathy Holt suggested that an arrangement between the district and the Historical Society could be worked into the board's disposal policy.

Community members who might have items of interest to the Historical Society, Thomas said, are welcome to contact the Society through the library or through the organization's Web site, www.altonhistoricalsociety.org.

Subcommittee dispute

A discussion of subcommittee assignments at Prospect Mountain High School led to a brief spat among board members over the question of who should take Chairman Jeff St. Cyr's place on the Finance committee.

St. Cyr, who has served on the high school Finance committee for the past two years, expressed his desire to switch to the Building and Grounds committee, as he cannot continue to sit on the Finance committee due to scheduling conflicts.

With two Barnstead board members already seated on the Finance committee, he said, another Alton member is needed to balance out the roster.

Board member Lynda Goossens, who currently chairs the high school board, said that after finally landing a seat this year on the Buildings and Grounds committee (which she has wanted to serve on for quite some time), she had no interest in switching to Finance.

Like St. Cyr, she added, she also put in two years on the Finance committee.

Noyes said she already sits on five subcommittees between the elementary and high school, and is an alternate member of four others.

"You shouldn't have to be on a committee if you don't want to," she commented, suggesting that another board member step up to the plate and take St. Cyr's seat on the Finance committee.

Argiropolis said she would take over for St. Cyr if necessary, but felt that serving on the high school Finance committee, the elementary school's Technology committee, and as the Alton board's representative to the budget committee was a lot to ask of any one board member.

Asked by St. Cyr whether she would be willing to take over as budget committee representative if Argiropolis took his seat on the Finance committee, Goossens said she would consider it if the other board members agreed to take turns on a rotating schedule as the budget committee representative.

When informed by Noyes that the budget committee had asked for a single designated school board representative, however, Goossens said her answer was no.

Noting that as the chair of the high school board, Goossens would ultimately have to address any vacancies on subcommittees, Noyes suggested that she "show leadership" and work with the remaining Alton board members to fill St. Cyr's seat on Finance.

When Goossens suggested that Noyes should take over St. Cyr's position on Finance herself, Noyes balked at the idea.

"I'm going to go back on Finance … yeah, right," she said. "I think I've put my time in, Lynda."

St. Cyr suggested that the matter be tabled until the Prospect Mountain board's next meeting.

Walk-through update

Updating the board on the status of a list of maintenance issues Goossens and board member Sandy Wyatt asked him to address during a walk-through at Alton Central on March 29, Buildings and Grounds Director Karl Ingoldsby reported that the repairs needed in the second-grade hallway and Classroom 13 had been completed, and that a broken thermostat in Room 5 had been replaced.

He is currently seeking estimates, he said, on a proposal to re-paint the floors in the boys' and girls' locker rooms located in the school's basement, which have been pitted over the years by metal cleats (which Ingoldsby said are no longer permitted inside the building).

Asked for an update on repairs to the leaking roof over Classroom 35, Ingoldsby said two contractors recently took a look at that section of roof.

One of them, he said, recommended that the entire section be replaced with a new metal roof (a proposal with an estimated price tag of $8,000).

The other contractor, who Ingoldsby said was unable to find an ice and water shield after lifting up several shingles, said a new membrane might have to be installed over that section of the building and the entire section of roof re-shingled, but did not submit a quote.

Architect Chip Krause's chief concern with the idea of a metal roof, Holt said, was the possibility of falling snow or ice injuring students who have to pass through the opening below that section of roof.

Asked by Noyes (who favored the idea of a metal roof) whether it would be possible to construct some sort of enclosure over the opening, Holt said the issue would likely be addressed as part of the school-wide renovation project that will go before voters next year.

Wyatt said she would prefer to wait for the second contractor's proposal before making a final decision.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board heard the latest enrollment figures for Alton Central (586 students as of May 1) and Prospect Mountain (a total of 518 students as of May 1 — 265 from Alton and 253 from Barnstead).

The board also voted to re-affirm the charge for Alton Central's Buildings and Grounds Committee and each of its subcommittees; heard an overview of the Aspire team's recent efforts to re-paint the school cafeteria; and approved a new policy regarding access to student records in the second reading.

Upcoming events

During her bi-weekly report to the board, Principal Bonnie Jean Kuras announced several upcoming events.

From May 19-21, Alton Central will host its annual spring book fair, which will start off this year with a "Book Buy Barbeque" on May 19.

On Thursday, May 27, students in Kindergarten through grade five will be honored for their artwork during a special Showcase assembly from 2 to 2:45 p.m.

The Alton Central School band will join its counterparts from Barnstead Elementary and Prospect Mountain for the third annual tri-district band concert on Thursday, May 20, at the Prospect Mountain auditorium.

Chorus members from all three schools will take to the stage for this year's tri-district chorus concert the following Thursday, May 27.

On Monday, June 7, Alton Central will host a string recital.

The end-of-year celebrations for kindergarteners will take place on Thursday, June 10, with the morning session celebration scheduled for 5 p.m. and the afternoon session celebration set for 6:30 p.m.

This year's eighth grade class will celebrate its transition to high school on Monday, June 14, at 6 p.m.

Next meeting

The board's next meeting has been scheduled for Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m. in the middle school library.

Brendan Berube can be reached at 569-3126 or bberube@salmonpress.com

Varney Smith
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