DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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March 13, 2014

Londonderry approve $4 million school plan

Budget, warrant articles all pass

LONDONDERRY — The second time was a charm as voters approved a $4 million school spending plan to renovate and improve district buildings.

Voters came out Tuesday and also approved a $66.2 million school operating budget and all warrant articles.

Only 2,021 of the town’s 15,906 registered voters — 12.7 percent — came out Tuesday to cast ballots.

School district clerk Mary Soares said turnout was way too low by late afternoon. She wished more people would come out for the local elections every year.

“Isn’t this much more affecting them than Obama or even the state level?” Soares asked. “It’s not what we had hoped.”

This was the second attempt at passing the $4 million renovation bond. The vote, 1,235-736, required 60 percent approval to pass. It received 62 percent support.

Voters reject a similar bond last year, failing by only 11 votes.

The bond money will be used to make major roofing and paving repairs at various school buildings, along with upgrades in school security.

Many projects were put on hold with the hopes the bond would pass this year.

“We’ve seen many projects put on hold due to fiscal constraints,” district business administrator Peter Curro said earlier this year.

Curro said some issues were serious and needed to be done now.

One major project on the radar is replacement of the middle school roof. Others making the top of the list are paving work, security upgrades and replacement of the stadium field’s concession/press box structures.

Some of the approved bond money will go to help to reconfigure food service areas to help students have more time to eat and shorter lines. The press box and concession stand at the high school field are also earmarked for improvements that could cost $350,000. Upgrades would also include adding permanent restrooms.

School security will also get some upgrades creating new vestibule areas in schools to make the entrances safer.

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