DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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July 10, 2014

Londonderry schools get summer upgrades

Londonderry starts major school projects

LONDONDERRY — Voters said yes in March to spending $4 million to upgrade school buildings and security features.

That work is now underway.

With school out for the summer, several major projects have started, including paving the Matthew Thornton Elementary School parking lot.

Other major projects set for this summer are roofing work at both the middle and high school.

Residents gave a big vote of school support at the polls in March, saying OK to spending $4 million bond to repair and renovate district buildings and property.

“Those are the three big ones this summer,” said Peter Curro, district business administrator.

Curro said the larger projects started once school let out so they didn’t disrupt any activities.

“The middle school roof, that is a huge one,” he said. “That will take most of the summer.”

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.

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.

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

The Matthew Thornton work includes major paving of the entire parking lot around the school. Preliminary drainage work was completed several years ago.

So far, the work is going well, Curro said, with some projects running ahead of schedule thanks to favorable weather.

Curro said summer offers such a short window of time to get big jobs done. Unless weather conditions turn sour, most of the projects will remain on track.

“(Work should be one) before school opens in plenty of time,” he said.

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 summer work schedule.

“The security vestibules are just starting,” Curro. “That would could be done by the end of July.”

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