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March 20, 2014

Londonderry officials start bond project plans

With bond in hand, officials make plans

LONDONDERRY — Residents gave a big vote of school support at the polls last week approving all warrant articles and saying OK to a $4 million bond to repair and renovate district buildings and property.

Now, the planning and prioritizing begins.

District business administrator Peter Curro said it’s time to put the most dire work on the priority list and plan the timeframe to get started.

Major projects on the list for this summer’s schedule are paving the Matthew Thornton Elementary School parking lot, roofing work at the middle school, and some other roofing repairs at the high school.

“Those are the three big ones this summer,” Curro said.

Other smaller projects might also find themselves on the work order list for 2014.

Curro said the district is already working with contractors to plan some work over the course of several years, especially when it comes to roofing improvements.

He said all the financial information and costs would come before the School Board for approval.

By phasing in the jobs over a few years, he said, the district could save money in the long run.

Scheduling the work is a challenge; most jobs have to be done during school vacation months.

“If you do everything at once, you can’t have summer school, you can’t have summer games,” Curro said. “You’d be bumping into construction.”

That’s why phasing in the more involved projects is important, he said, or putting off others until next year or the next is best.

One project that won’t be done until next year includes upgrades to the town’s press box/concession stand at the high school field.

The buildings were built decades ago by an all-volunteer crew, Curro said, and need repairs to make them safer.

It could cost $350,000 to repair or replace those buildings. That would include adding permanent restrooms to the field area, something Londonderry doesn’t have.

Bond money is also earmarked for added security in school buildings.

Improvements include new vestibule areas where visitors entering buildings would come to a more secure area first, then check in and get a badge before accessing the other areas in the school.

Those improvements are also on the 2014 work schedule, Curro said.

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