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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Timbelane to discuss NEW HIGH SCHOOL TONIGHT!

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane to discuss future of school buildings

By Bryan Deyermond

PLAISTOW — Timberlane Superintendent Richard La Salle called it a "discussion of big ideas."

The School Board will hold a work session tonight to discuss the future of the high school and middle school.

La Salle said the big ideas come from the Capital Improvement Plan, instituted two years ago. In that plan, the school broke down its development into four phases.

The first phase was the potential merging of Sandown's two elementary schools: Sandown North and Sandown Central. The second and third phases involved the development or renovations of new facilities for the high school and middle school.

Architects who evaluated the middle school referred to it as "end of life," La Salle said. The phrase didn't mean the school was "terminal," he said, but did mean if the school needed renovations, it would need to be replaced.

Over the course of the year, a new plan arose for the futures of both buildings. Architects presented a plan to turn the current high school into a middle school, resulting in a new high school building.

La Salle said the district is in the early stages of the second stage of its CIP. The meeting tonight will be an informal discussion among board members, school officials and the public.

"This is an opportunity to bring everyone together in free conversational format," La Salle said. "It's less formal than a meeting protocol."

There will be no formal presentation of plans for a new high school at the meeting, and no plan could move forward due to the state legislation freezing its school building aid program. But La Salle said the idea is to get as prepared as possible for the future of both buildings.

"We want to get our ideas in line, and we'd like to be as well planned as possible," he said, "so when it's the right time, we're shovel-ready to go."

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the superintendent's office at 30 Greenough Road.


Anonymous said...

The school board voted to NOT record the 'work session' on building a new high school. I enourage all to show up. The only reason for keeping this meeting secret is so that they can deny it happened later. La Salle last year assured me that the new science classrooms would never be repurposed. Less than a year later, he is planning to move the hs kids out of the building. If he intends to teach physics and robotics to the middleschoolers, this is good news. Otherwise, he is a LIAR. I do not think there are plans to teach physics and robotics to middleschoolers.

Show up at the work session and INSIST no more money be squanderd on the HS until we decide if it is going to be a middle school.

Anonymous said...


We celebrated a calendar which put education above time off just a couple months ago. That celebration may have been premature. Thursday, Danville's senior school board member attacked the 180 day calendar. When Jack Paone challenged this unusual parliamentary procedure, the chair asked Mr. La Salle, "Do you know what our lawyers would say?" Of course La Salle confirmed that he thought there was a loophole. Only Danville's two members were base enough to try to exploit the loophole. Looks like the 180 Day Calendar survives until the school board reconvenes in the fall.

My favorite part of the discussion is when a board asks if more teaching was lost by keeping the kids in the classroom vs having early release. Director of elementary edducation Killi Killen stated that the kids would lose more by being in class than by being at home. I'm not sure I disagree.

FWIW, I apologize for endorsing for Mrs. Steenson. I should have investigated her character instead of relying on an opinion based on a her performance on a single issue.

* note to self. student rep says days with a substitute is like a day off. Remember this when talking to La Salle about average 12 sick days per year for teachers.

Anonymous said...

I hear everyone's favorite Curriculum Coordinator has been investigating how the support staff at Timberlane has been using their sick days and PTO days. We all know how easy it is for a 2 day weekend to morph into 3 and a 3 day weekend to morph into 4. Days off have a way of multiplying just like rabbits. Well, to be fair, I hear this Curriculum Coordinator has also been investigating how teachers are using and abusing there time off too. However, there isn't much this Curriculum Coordinator can do about it, for you see the teachers are covered by a union contract. "The Crier" thinks this Curriculum Coordinator should include the entire SAU 55 Staff in the study. Fair is fair.

Anonymous said...

A school board member told me that the average sick days for represented employees is exactly equal to the number of paid days off per year. Bearing in mind that they get compensated for unused time off, the work ethic is not very good.

But sick/personnel time is only half of the story as teachers are routinely out of the classroom on 'official business' -- training, development, opportunities (one math teacher spent a week at NASA). The student rep to the school board said Thursday that days with substitute teachers were less educational than early dismissals.

It is a big deal and a matter of public record. We should know which teachers are not teaching.

Anonymous said...

The school board allows children of employees to attend our schools at a steep discount. How steep? It's difficult to say. Thursday, the school board waived the requirement that a letter of agreement exist that makes the school district of residence responsible for special education expenses. Now that the exception has been made, expect much hand wringing as the school district is hit with unusually high special ed costs as employees bring their special needs kids into the district.

Len Mullen said...

I was there (and, apparently here making anon posts). Click my name to see why a new high school makes no sense to me.

Len Mullen said...

Mark Acciard brought a camera. Click my name to see the video.

Anonymous said...

He's at it again!

What happened to separation of the departments?

This is why there was a conflict of interest petition filed this year.

This is the root cause of the lawsuits and complaints.

Where is the BOS? We hired a TA and now they are behind the curtain, out of touch with us.

MAcciard said...


Do we need a new $70,000,000 middle school and high school?

For those who were unaware, the school board had a "workshop" last night to discuss the proposed new schools building project.

The presentation was made by the architect, with the school board members asking clarification type questions. No one on that board bothered to ask if this was NEEDED, that was simply accepted. At one point Mr. LaSalle stated that if you look around the southern tier(of NH) you have beautiful new schools, we have waited our turn.

I held my tongue, but the comment running through my head was; "YOUR TURN??? There are 15,000 taxpayers in this district who are struggling to pay the $14,500/yr. to send each one of their kids here to get their mediocre education NOW, how about improving the quality of your product before demanding a palace in which to work."

The architect stated that a ball park estimate for school construction runs about $180/sq.ft. So here are the number from last nights meeting...

Middle school currently has 1050 kids in 135,000 sq.ft. of space. New middle school is designed for 1100 kids in 200,000 sq ft. of space. A 50% increase in the size of the school for the same population.

High school currently has roughly 1,380 kids in 142,000 sq.ft. of space. New high school will be designed for 1,400 kids in 230,000 sq.ft. of space. A 62% increase in space for the same population.

Here is the math, although bear in mind that they have not budgeted any of this yet, so there are no "hard numbers" at this point.

200,000sq.ft. x $180/ft. = $36,000,000. + additional site work, planning, feasibility studies, and overruns. That is the middle school.

230,000sq.ft. x $180/ft.= $41,400,000 + additional site work, planning, feasibility studies, and overruns. That is the middle school.

Now here is where this gets interesting; Wasn't the bond for the last construction project that brought us the PAC center $32,000,000? So they are planning to HAVE THREE BONDS RUNNING CONCURRENTLY???

Is it too much to ask to improve the quality of education BEFORE asking us to build the King a new palace?

Anonymous said...

I got to move the hell out of here. I can't afford to pay for this. I never had kids and I resent this stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Are these people high?

"We want to get our ideas in line, and we'd like to be as well planned as possible," he said, "so when it's the right time, we're shovel-ready to go."

La Salle seems to think there's more stimulus money coming down the pipe from our "rich" Uncle Sam. Don't we wish we had a rich uncle about now? To bad he's us.

Len Mullen said...

La Salle's referring to the fact that there is currently no state funding for school construction. He thinks that this is temporary and that when the state lift's the moratorium, the old rules will apply. He wants to be first in line when the spigot opens.

I'm not sure things will ever be the same again. The state has screwed up the pension system and is going deeper into debt despite federal money. The feds are broke too.