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Kingswood opening delayed to Sept. 19

Elementary schools in district will open as planned on Sept. 6

July 28, 2011
WOLFEBORO — Issues encountered during the renovation of the old buildings at the Kingswood complex will lead to a delay in the opening of school for students at Kingswood Regional Middle School, Kingswood Regional High School and the Region 9 Vocational Education Center.

Instead of reopening just after Labor Day, on Sept. 6, there will be a delay of nine days, to Monday, Sept. 19, before these three schools reopen. None of the elementary schools in the district are affected, and they will all open as previously scheduled on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The delay stems from unforeseen problems encountered during the demolition of walls and ceilings in the original Kingswood building. The following is the statement issued on Monday by Governor Wentworth Regional School District Superintendent John Robertson:

"The addition/renovation project at the Kingswood complex continues to make progress at a rapid pace. North Branch Construction has assigned three site superintendents to the project overseeing nearly 300 workers on most days. The job schedule was designed to get the site in a safe condition for use by staff and students along with enough classrooms to open school on Sept. 6, 2011. However, unforeseen conditions in the existing high school structure have had a negative impact on the work schedule.

"Specifically, an asbestos ceiling hidden behind an existing non-asbestos ceiling in the cafeteria and the discovery of cement block walls that required steel seismic bracing above the abated asbestos ceilings were both found during the demolition phase. Both of these unforeseen issues posed a significant danger to building occupants and required a comprehensive remediation that put the project two weeks behind schedule.

"Consequently, a modification of the school calendar for all students grade 7 through 12 became necessary. Students in Kindergarten through grade 6 will not be impacted by the calendar change for the older pupils.

"Instead of Sept. 6, pupils in grades 7 through 12 will begin classes on Monday, Sept. 19.

"The nine days missed in September will be made up on the following days: Oct. 10, Nov. 21 and 22, and June 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22. Make-up days for inclement weather will continue to take place on Saturdays. The specific Saturdays set aside for make-up are: Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 17, April 14 and May 19.

"The elementary school calendar will remain as it was previously published with school opening on Sept. 6. However, instead of using Saturdays for inclement weather make-up days, school cancellations will be added to the June calendar.

"Both the grades 7 to 12 and Kindergarten to grade 6 calendars will be posted on the District website and sent home to parents.

"While we do not anticipate any further issues that cause an additional delay to the opening of school, it must be remembered that the site and the spaces must meet all code requirements before the Building Inspector will allow occupancy. North Branch continues to work closely with the Building Inspector and third party inspectors to prevent any further delays in the opening of school for Kingswood pupils."

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
Town of Barnsted
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