Storm Brush Pickup

On November 4, 2017, in Public Works Division, by Mark Cookson
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In response to the citywide impact of the October 29th storm, the City of Nashua, Division of Public Works is offering a one-time residential brush pickup.  Residential pickups will begin December 4thand will continue until all scheduled pickups are completed or the first snow event – whichever comes first.  These special pickups will be made by appointment only.

To schedule a pickup, residents must call the Street Department at 589-4750 between November 6th and November 17th. Requests must be made by November 17th.

After scheduling a pickup, each resident may put out one truckload of brush only at the curbside for removal. When placing brush at the curb, the cut end of the brush must be facing the street and each piece must be no wider than 4 inches in diameter and no longer than 8 feet long.

The curbside pickup of soft yard waste will end on December 1.

After curbside pickup ends, residents may continue to bring soft yard waste and brush to the Four Hills Landfill at 840 West Hollis Street.  Residents may purchase a landfill permit for $5.  The landfill’s regular hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. The landfill will be open extended hours until 4:00 pm on Saturdays, November 4, 18 and 25 for residential brush and yard waste only.  Please note that the scale closes at 3:45 pm on weekdays and 12:45 pm on Saturdays.


 
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As was reported in several news outlets the Chinese University of Hong Kong has purchased the property formerly known as Daniel Webster College for the price of $11.6M.  And with this purchase goes any opportunity the City may have had to secure space for our School Administration, the Nashua Program at Brentwood, a potential site for Elm Street Middle School as we consider what to do with a $50M bond (not yet in the form of legislation for us to consider) for renovations.

It should be noted that the Nashua Program at Brentwood had the following recommendations identified in December 2014:

2016-2017 School Year and Beyond:
Consideration should be given to expanding the Program to no more than forty (40) students, and relocating to a new location in Nashua by August of 2016. Expansion plans should be based on three factors: the need for services to this population of students; the ability to attract tuition students from other Districts; and the avoidance of out-of-district costs by enrolling Nashua students in this Program. Locating the Program in Nashua will simplify transportation and minimize transportation costs.

and another article in 2015 indicated, again,

“the district hopes to find a suitable location in Nashua to run the program after the lease in Merrimack expires.”

I saw the Mayor was celebrating some new fields at Charlotte Ave today on Facebook.  I’m glad the City has some new fields too.  This property now owned by the Chinese University of Hong Kong had athletic fields too which could have been utilized by our recreational leagues.  There were two baseball diamonds as well as a rectangular field.  The outfield of the larger baseball diamond could also be lined with a rectangular field as well.

There are so many potential City needs which could have been addressed with at least the consideration of this property.  It was not meant to be.  A majority of this Board of Aldermen thought it better to play games with the two pieces of legislation I proposed.  The first, which they let go to committee before killing it was a feasibility study to determine if the campus would be suitable for our many needs.  There was no cost associated with this legislation.

The second piece of legislation was the Bond Resolution which was necessary for us to send to committee and have a Public Hearing.  First, the president of the Board sent it to several committees which elongated the process of an already tight timeframe.  And then, the nail in the coffin, nine (9) members of the Board of Aldermen would not even schedule a Public Hearing.

I hope and pray that this property continues to be used in an educational capacity.

 

By DAVID BROOKS
Monitor staff
Thursday, October 26, 2017

The possibility that the Chinese University of Hong Kong will take over the defunct Daniel Webster College in Nashua and turn it into a branch of the Asian college could open up a new chapter in New Hampshire’s long history of higher education.

“I think you can safely say it would be a first for New Hampshire,” said Mike Vlacich, president of the New Hampshire College and University Council. “But it’s premature to say. … We have reached out to their attorney to introduce ourselves and get more information about what their plans are for New Hampshire.”

The Chinese University of Hong Kong was the winning bidder for the defunct college, which shut down in May after years of financial problems as a non-profit college and a tumultuous few years of ownership by for-profit ITT Educational Services, Inc., which went bankrupt last year.

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the purchase by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which said it wants to open a satellite campus on the Nashua campus.

If the university goes ahead with the $11.6 million purchase and applies to become an accredited, degree-granting university that holds classes in New Hampshire, it would be the first foreign school ever to do so.

The former Chester College in the town of Chester was bought by Jiahui Educational Group, part of a Chinese conglomerate, and has been turned into a summer academy for high schoolers, but is not being used as a university.

The Hellenic American University, based in Nashua and affiliated with Hellenic College in Athens, Greece, is accredited in New Hampshire and enrolls students in the state, but doesn’t hold undergraduate classes here. It does offer English as a second language certificate and a masters of business administration in the state.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong would be the first new university in New Hampshire since tiny Thomas More College of Liberal Arts was created in Merrimack in 1978.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, founded in 1963, says it has about 29,000 students and is pushing to expand worldwide. It offers a full slate of academic degrees but does not appear to have any educational facilities outside Hong Kong.

“We’re excited with what’s happening in Nashua right now, between Rivier University, the community college … and Southern New Hampshire University,” Vlacich said. “We’re seeing another region of New Hampshire developing a strong higher education cluster. Once we learn more about this new institution we’ll have a better sense about what potential contribution they can give to New Hampshire.”

Daniel Webster College was founded in 1965 as an aviation institute, and for most of its history its identity was closely linked to the Nashua Airport, which is next to the campus.

Financial problems led to Daniel Webster College being sold in 2009 to ITT Technical Institutes. ITT ran into a crackdown on for-profit institutions by the U.S. Department of Education, which cut off the school’s access to financial aid, leading to ITT’s 2016 bankruptcy.

Manchester-based SNHU took over operations of Daniel Webster College for the remainder of the 2016-2017 academic year, but chose not to buy the 53-acre campus from ITT.

SNHU was one of several bidders in the bankruptcy auction, and while it didn’t buy the campus as a whole, it did buy the school’s flight center and hangar on the airport grounds, as well as the control tower, for $410,000.

(David Brooks can be   reached at 369-3313 or or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)


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The Nashua Teachers’ Union and administrators announced a tentative three-year agreement for para-educators Tuesday, October 17.

The plan would provide an annual 2.7 percent increase in salaries for the Unit B Para-educator’s Union, Local 1044 of the American Federation of Teachers.

The contract will now be forwarded to the Board of Aldermen and sent to committee to review the specifics of the tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement.

I look forward to reviewing the details of the contract.


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The size and scope of the concerns associated with both Elm Street Middle School and now Mt. Pleasant Elementary School continue to grow and this is just but only one of the reasons why I suggested through legislation the City of Nashua consider the purchase of the property formerly known as Daniel Webster College (DWC).

I walked the campus with several members of the Board of Education, as well as Carl DuBois of Harvey Construction, to determine if the buildings on campus could continue to be utilized as an educational institution for our Nashua School District.  While there were questions about the property, mechanicals (HVAC) there was interest in the 53-acre property – whether to somehow utilize the existing buildings or build new construction on the property – and we should have allowed our Office of Economic Development conduct a feasibility study.

Unfortunately, a majority of the Board of Aldermen determined it was not even worth exploring and now it is just a sit and wait to determine who the winning bid of the auction will be and what they will ultimately do with the property.  Will another university purchase it and continue to exist as a higher learning institution; or, will a developer purchase the property to turn the 53-acres into housing?

Time will tell.

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
October 16. 2017 10:02PM


NASHUA — As school officials review the costs to improve two city schools at a combined price tag of more than $60 million, a school board member is raising questions about the future of one of the schools.Last week, the Board of Education’s finance and operations committee was presented with preliminary cost estimates to upgrade Mount Pleasant Elementary and Elm Street Middle School.

While the costs to improve the middle school are hovering around $50 million, the committee was told that an additional $10 million in hard costs and $4 million in soft costs will be necessary to update Mount Pleasant, located on Manchester Street.

“I don’t know how we would pull the trigger on this kind of investment given our population and where we are going,” board member Robert Hallowell said.

The school currently has 356 students, but Hallowell said enrollment could decrease to 270 students in four or five years.

Hallowell raised the possibility of adding capacity at other schools and relocating Mount Pleasant’s students. “I know everyone will get up in arms,” said Hallowell, stressing that the cost per square foot to renovate the 1925 building is nearly identical to the cost of new construction.

Enrollment figures aren’t the only thing to consider, said Carl DuBois of Harvey Construction. DuBois said the school is located in the city’s historic district and has no available land for expansion, creating significant design challenges.

A heating system upgrade, new light fixtures, a new fire alarm system and windows are being recommended, as well as enhanced security measures. Despite a building addition in 1987, there are still bathroom deficiencies, kitchen problems and classrooms that are smaller than state standards, according to two separate reports.

Board member Howard Coffman said he appreciates Hallowell’s candid comments about the future of the school.

“I agree that it should be on the table,” Coffman said.

– – – – – – –

Deficiencies at Elm Street Middle School have led to the proposal for an extensive four-year renovation project that could cost upward of $50 million.

While it is not in imminent danger of failure, DuBois said, there are cracks in the exterior facade, windows need work, the cafeteria needs upgrades and there are not enough classrooms.

Harvey Construction is suggesting that the existing kitchen be demolished and replaced with a four-story addition that would enable the school to remove its portable classrooms. Along with renovating and extending the auditorium, Harvey Construction is also suggesting that the school’s large gym be removed and the space be used to build 16 classrooms.

“I didn’t hear any good news in anything you reported,” said Hallowell, adding it is still important to receive the information in order to make future decisions.

“I think there are opportunities the city should continue to look at if there is land or properties that become available that would make us either have the ability to do some kind of swing space to make some of these things happen temporarily, or to actually think about moving these facilities,” he said.


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REMINDER:  GACIT Hearing in Nashua October 19 at 7:00pm at the Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst Street Room 150, Nashua NH.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) announced four additional (4) public hearings on the NHDOT’s recommended update of the State’s Ten-Year Transportation Program (2019-2028), including one in Nashua (District 5 – Councilor Wheeler) and one in Salem (District 3 – Councilor Prescott).

These public hearings are an opportunity for citizens to comment on the draft plan, which is the result of several months of work by communities, the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC), and the NHDOT.

Below is a schedule for the remaining hearings being held by Councilor David Wheeler (District 5), representing the NRPC communities of Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Lyndeborough, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, Nashua and Wilton and Councilor Russell Prescott (District 3), representing Pelham. 

District 5 – Councilor David Wheeler
PETERBOROUGH
Wednesday, October 18th
7:00 PM
Town Hall
1 Grove Street
Co-hosted with District 2 Councilor Andru Volinsky
NASHUA
Thursday, October 19th
7:00 PM
Nashua Community College
505 Amherst Street Room 150
District 3 – Councilor Russell Prescott
SALEM
Wednesday, October 25th
7:00 PM
Salem Town Hall
Knightly Room
33 Geremonty Drive
NRPC will be presenting at the public hearing held in Nashua and attending Peterborough and Salem. You are strongly encouraged to attend your Councilor’s hearings to show support for the regional projects.
Any individuals needing assistance or auxiliary communication equipment due to sensory impairment or other disability should contact Sharon Allaire, (603) 271-3344, NHDOT, P.O. Box 483, Concord, N.H. 03302-0483 – TDD access: Relay N.H. 1-800-735-2964.  Those not able to attend the meetings can submit written testimony within 10 days of the completion of the Public Hearings, but no later than November 6, 2017.
Written comments should be addressed to:
William E. Watson, P.E.
Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
John O. Morton Building, 7 Hazen Drive
P.O. Box 483
Concord, NH 03302-0483
Copies of any documents related to the Ten-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (2019-2028) will be available for review on the NHDOT website prior to the first Public Hearing: http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/projectdevelopment/planning/typ/index.htm or by contacting the Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance at the Department of Transportation (603-271-3344).