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Londonderry ponders $4 million school bond

LONDONDERRY — District officials are considering placing a $4 million bond on the March ballot to address school roof replacements and other long-awaited repairs and upgrades.

During the Dec. 19 School Board meeting, district Business Administrator Peter Curro said he was initially opposed to proposing a bond. But following a lengthy discussion with the board, where Curro noted that without a bond the district's Maintenance Trust Fund would need to be raised from $500,000 to $850,000, school officials agreed to schedule a public bond hearing for Jan. 16.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers at Londonderry Town Hall.

The 10-year bond would be similar to the one that voters rejected at the March 2013 Town Meeting, according to Facilities Director Chuck Zappala.
If the bond moves forward to the ballot and is approved by voters, the money would go toward roof replacement at the middle school ($735,000), repaving of the Matthew Thornton Elementary School parking lot ($600,000), roof repairs at the high school ($1,060,000), paving the middle school parking lot ($250,000), a roof replacement at Moose Hill School ($410,000), repaving the middle school parking lot ($350,000), renovations to the high school's cafeteria and kitchen ($100,000), paving segments of the parking area at Moose Hill School ($70,000), district-wide field improvements ($350,000) and district-wide security upgrades ($200,000), among other things.
Superintendent Nathan Greenberg said he was in favor of placing the bond on the ballot, though several board members expressed concern that the lengthy list of renovations wouldn't get done should the bond fail in March.
Zappala noted that was the case last year, adding that the Londonderry district is among the state's largest.

The district spans seven buildings and more than 200 acres of grounds, he said, and next year's proposed Buildings and Grounds operating budget is currently set at $2,057,490.
Zappala said about half the budget is spent on utilities, with the remainder needed for the district's day-to-day operations.

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