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Estimates to raze Gale School in $43,000 range

BELMONT — The cost to demolish the 120-year-old Gale School building could run upward of $43,000, according to information given to the Shaker Regional School Board this week.

School District Building and Grounds Director Doug Ellis told the board at its meeting Tuesday that he had received two bids from New Hampshire demolition companies and was waiting to receive a proposal from a third.

The historic but empty building sets on perch, to the rear of the Middle School in Belmont village.

The bid from Danley Demolition was for $43,500 which would pay for demolition of the wood-frame structure as well as the cost of removing the bell tower and bell prior to actual demolition. The bid submitted by New Hampshire Demolition was for $44,250 to cover the cost of tearing the building down and an additional $15,000 to remove the bell tower and bell.

The School Board had requested to know how much it would cost to save the tower and the 3-foot-diameter brass bell.

Ellis said he was awaiting a third price proposal from Spears Brothers.

On Tuesday the board asked Ellis to get information comparing the costs of merely filling in the building's cellar hole as opposed to removing the stone and brick foundation.

The Gale School was built in 1894 and was last used for classes in 1985, when the Belmont Elementary School opened. Since then the district has used the building for cold storage. In the ensuring years there have one or two proposals submitted to School District voters to have the building torn down, according to Ellis, but matter was tabled at the School District Meeting.

The demolition of the building would need to be approved by a special vote at a School District Meeting, School District Business Administrator Debbie Thompson said.

In other business, the School District administration presented its proposed budget for the coming fiscal year to the board. The 2015 budget is $299 less that the district's current operating budget of $21 million, Thompson said. The board will be scheduling meetings in the coming weeks to review the budget plan with various department heads, she added.



Last Updated on Saturday, 15 November 2014 12:33

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St. Vincent de Paul needs 600 turkeys to meet Thanksgiving need

LACONIA — The manager of the area's largest food pantry is appealing to the public to donate turkeys needed to fill Thanksgiving food baskets.

Jo Carignan, manager of the food pantry operated by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, said that she expects that 800-plus families will qualify for Thanksgiving baskets this year. With the holiday now less that two weeks away, she has received 200 turkeys.

"I need about 600 more" she said Friday morning.

Carignan, who has worked at the food pantry for 24 years, said that she always gets anxious as the time approaches to give the food baskets to needy families. But, "This year I'm panicking earlier," she said.

She urged those who can, to donate a turkey, preferably frozen, weighing around 20 pounds, explaining that most food baskets go to families of four to six people.

One of the reasons Carignan is worried about the level of donations is that organizations which have typically called her with promises of donating a number of turkeys have so far not done so. She said some of these groups are charitable organizations. Others are local businesses.

Carignan noted that in past years a local manufacturer has given turkeys to its employees, and that some of those turkeys ended up being donated to the food pantry. But this year the company opted to give its employees gift cards instead of turkeys.

Anyone who wants to donate one or more turkeys can drop them off at the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at 1269 Union Ave., Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., between now and next Saturday, Nov. 22, when the food basket distribution will begin. Carignan said the pantry would also appreciate the donation of fresh vegetables.

"We can use everything," she said.

Carignan expected the number of requests for Thanksgiving food baskets would be "up a little" from last year. "But not a whole lot. It's always a guessing game," she observed.


Last Updated on Saturday, 15 November 2014 12:29

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Dem Bones: Belmont Middle School students dive into subject of human anatomy

BELMONT — About 100 Belmont Middle School sixth graders have worked together on an integrated Human Body Project over the last three weeks, which has created an impressive display of art work on walls on the third floor of the school, including a giant skeleton model more than 12 feet long which is suspended from the ceiling.
''We made the skeleton through trial and error in the classroom. At first it fell apart but we finally got it to hold together,'' says 11-year-old Raven Gates, who along with her 12-year-old partner Katharyne Davies, were among the students who helped put together the framework.'
''We measured our own body parts and then multiplied the average by three so we could make the skeleton,'' said Davies, who said that the skeleton is made from recyclable materials, including cardboard and plastic bottles and wrapped with window shrink wrap to hold it together.
Both she and Gates agreed that head of the skeleton bears a resemblance to E.T. ''It's fun to watch the reaction of the other students to the skeleton,'' said Gates.
The project used several curricular areas, including science, art, technology and computers as well as the school's enrichment program.
''It's a STEM project involving science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,'' says art teacher Jaylene Bengston, who watched Friday as Alex Connell, a student teacher in the art program, made minor repairs to the skeleton to keep it firmly attached to the ceiling.
Technology/computer teacher Celeste Craig said the said that students especially enjoyed the technology part and created their own videos which explained their poster and project.
Sixth graders Gabby Day and Aurora Couto worked as a team to prepare a poster on the human nose and even created their own webpage as part of the project.
''It was a lot of fun,'' said Day, who along with Couto, demonstrated how people could use a QR code placed on their poster or model download related videos from their website to a smartphone.
Students were assigned body systems or organs to study and then worked together in groups of up to four according to science teachers Dianne Klabechek and Tom White. The groups then used computers for research and the preparation of their posters.
In the art room, they made scale models of the organ or system they had been assigned and then spent time on computers making their own web pages and videos and incorporating a photo of the poster they had created.
An open house for parents, which was held Thursday night, brought out about 35 families to view the completed projects.
Gates said that the students had a good time explaining their projects to the visitors and received many favorable comments from their guests about the work they had done.
''It was nice to be able to tell people what we had done and have them ask us questions,'' she said.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 November 2014 12:22

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Gilmanton property tax rate rises by 8.4%

GILMANTON — The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has set the 2014 property tax rate at $22.93 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of $1.78, or 8.4 percent, over the 2013 rate of $21.15.

The total assessed valuation fell $33,028,396 or 6.8 percent, from $480,547,164 to $447,518,768, and the amount to be raised by property taxes increased by $105,045, or 1 percent, from $10,094,837 to $10,199,882.

The town portion of the property tax rate fell from $4.97 to $4.10 and the county tax from $1.39 to $1.34 while the school portion climbed from $12.36 to $14.82 and the state education tax from $2.43 to $2.67.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:33

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