July 31, 2008

Panel Moves Closer to Decision on Connecticut High School Project

By Andrea Osmun, Eagle Times, Claremont, N.H.

Jul. 31--CLAREMONT -- The school reinvestment committee is coming closer and closer to deciding the fate of Stevens High School.

The school board hired an architect to look at the high school's structure, said Ann Cuadrado, chair of the committee's outreach panel.

All the elementary schools had been studied, but the high school had not been. The architect attended two of the committee's meetings and said Stevens High School could be renovated, Cuadrado said. However, the issue of whether to rebuild or renovate the high school has not been decided.

"The high school has a lot of history," Cuadrado said. "To be renovated might be less expensive (than rebuilding it)."

The committee's long range task force is currently evaluating what the people of Claremont want for the school. The task force took a survey and received about 400 responses, Cuadrado said.

"They're looking at what they feel is the best, most responsible prospects to present to the school board," she said.

The task force's next meeting is scheduled for mid-August, which Cuadrado said should be the last meeting before it presents its decision to the committee.

Before the committee brings a recommendation to the school board, Cuadrado said, it will hold a public input meeting and then one more committee meeting to review the public's comments regarding the issue. She said she hopes this will all take place within the next couple of months.

"We're winding down," Cuadrado said. "Once we present our recommendation to the school board, our work will be done. We've been at it for a year since January."

After the committee brings a recommendation to the school board, the school board will ask for a warrant article, asking for money for architectural renderings of the proposed plan.

Claremont residents will vote on this in March 2009, Cuadrado said.

In March 2010, residents will vote on a school bond, she added.


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