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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).

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Nashua Police Chief Andrew Lavoie announced Nashua will observe Trick or Treat on Tuesday, October 31st between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

In making the announcement, Chief Lavoie urged parents to accompany their children and cautioned motorists to be alert for them during these hours.

“I am asking everyone to do what they can to insure a safe and enjoyable Halloween for everyone in the Gate City,” Lavoie said.


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Vacancy in Office of Aldermen

On October 9, 2017, in Board of Aldermen, Municipal Election, by Mark Cookson
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We, the Board of Aldermen, are faced with a unique situation with the resignation of Alderman David Deane during our final meeting in September 2017.

The City Charter, Section 44 identifies the following procedure to address this vacancy.  Becuase the resignation occurred within 6 months or less of the end of the unexpired term, the vacancy shall not be filled before the next regularly scheduled municipal election.

Instead, the candidate who receives the most votes at the regular municipal election for the next term of the office which is then vacant, and who is not then an incumbent member of the board, shall be sworn in to complete the unexpired term as soon as the election results are final.

Regardless of the results of the Municipal Election on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, we will have a new member of the Board of Aldermen before the end of the year.


§ 44.Vacancy in office of aldermen*
Vacancies occurring in the office of alderman [aldermen] from any cause shall be filled as follows: If there is at least six (6) months and one (1) day remaining in the unexpired term, the
vacancy shall be filled by a special election held on a date determined by the board of aldermen which shall not be earlier than forty (40) days and not later than one hundred eighty (180) days after the vacancy occurs. All nominations for the office of aldermen shall be handled in the same manner as nominations for the office of aldermen at a regularly scheduled election with the exception that petitions and acceptances of nominations shall be presented to the city clerk not earlier than forty (40) days nor later than thirty (30) days before the election. If the vacancy occurs within six (6) months or less of the end of the unexpired term, the vacancy shall not be filled before the next regularly scheduled municipal election. The candidate who receives the most votes at the regular municipal election for the next term of the office which is then vacant, and who is not then an incumbent member on the board, shall be sworn in to complete the unexpired term as soon as the election results are final.

*Amended by R-04-126 approved by the voters on November 8, 2005. Filling-vacancies provision effective January 1, 2006.


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I have received numerous questions with regard to the City’s paving plan as we’ve been meeting with meeting with constituents on the campaign trail.

Here is the most current information I have regarding the City’s paving progress.

Should you have any additional questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact me @

Given below is the list of streets on which we performed and are currently performing paving-related operations (i.e. 10/02/17 to 10/07/17). The paving-related operations involved activities such as milling, patching, shim, structure adjustment, curb reset, driveway trimming, etc.:

  1. Bates Dr
  2. Brinton Dr
  3. Buck Meadow Rd*
  4. Charlotte St
  5. Fairway St
  6. Horizon Circle
  7. May St
  8. Musket Dr*
  9. Old Mill Lane
  10. Preserve Dr
  11. Quinton Dr*
  12. Rancourt St
  13. Sacramento St
  14. Santerre St
  15. Stanford Rd
  16. Wright Rd

Given below is the list of streets that we plan on doing paving-related operations next week (i.e. 10/10/17 to 10/13/17)**:

  1. Antrim St
  2. Charlotte St
  3. Chung St
  4. DW Highway
  5. East Hollis St
  6. Eldorado Circle
  7. Fairway St
  8. Jayron Dr
  9. Main St
  10. Michelle Dr
  11. Newfields St
  12. Portchester Circle
  13. Ronnie Dr
  14. Timberline Dr
  15. Unicorn Way
  16. Vieckis Dr

Note:
*Brox’s contractor (GMI) plans on paving (i.e. top course) three streets (Quinton Dr, Musket Dr, Buck Meadow Rd) on Saturday (10/7/17).
** Dates above are a range of time within which the work is scheduled to be done. The schedule may change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.