Gilford Elementary School updates its infrastructure

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Corridors are dug up, equipment and piping is strategically placed in hallways and classrooms, and new fixtures are being installed as the elementary school renovation project progresses through the summer.

Scheduled to be completed over two consecutive summers, the renovation for this summer, said Buildings and Grounds Director Tim Bartlett, is primarily plumbing and drainage.

"We have reconfigured some of the gang bathrooms built in 1938 and 1962 to accommodate handicap and privacy issues," he said. "We're making them much more user friendly."

Because it is an elementary school, Bartlett said many of the classrooms are equipped with single bathrooms, meaning there are a lot of toilets and sinks in the building.

As part of the renovations, all of the sinks and countertops are being updated, along with miscellaneous fixtures. New toilets are all low-flow.

Superintendent Kirk Beitler said this is conducive to improved student hygiene and Cleanliness for Kids educational programs at the elementary level.

Bartlett also said that the wall sinks in the custodial closets are being removed and floor sinks are being installed.

"It's hard to lift mop buckets up to the wall sinks, so this is much more employee-friendly," he said.

Voters approved a $2.4 million bond at the March annual School District Meeting to upgrade the elementary school's entire mechanical, HVAC and plumbing systems. To keep the school open and to minimize interruptions to students, constructions crews will complete the project over this summer and next.

"We will be ready for teachers (to come in and set up their classrooms) by the end of the last full week of August," said Bartlett. The first day of school for students is Aug. 31.

School District Business Administrator Scott Isabelle said that the parking lot and all of the driveways are also being reclaimed and repaved. The paving project, which has been in the planning stages for a number of years but never made the final budget until this year, is not part of the bond, but is one of the capital projects the school does annually. It is scheduled to start Monday.

He said all the construction has led to the school district closing the Imagination Station playground for the summer.

"People just can't safely get there," said Isabelle.

Next year, said Bartlett, is actually the bigger part of the project that will see all of rooftop HVAC units replaced, LED lights for the parking lots, and an upgrade of the fiber optics category to whatever is the newest available technology at the time.

A PowerPoint presentation for the project can be accessed at www.sau73.org. Isabelle said there are also additional photos of the renovation project at that site.

07-22 Gilford Elementary School hall under construction

The floor in the main corridor of Gilford Elementary School is impassable as construction crews repair some water and sewer lines as part of the two-year $2.2 million renovation. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

Floating for hours will raise money for Make A Wish (226)

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MEREDITH — The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire will hold its annual Rafting for Wishes event at Hesky Park on Meredith Bay, beginning on Friday, July 29, and ending at noon on Sunday, July 31.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfills the fondest wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

With Rafting for Wishes, some 15 teams of at least 10 members will compete to keep their raft occupied and afloat for 44 hours while seeking to raise at least $300 apiece. The goal is to raise $100,000 so that wishes, which cost an average of $10,000, can come true. Since the New Hampshire chapter of the foundation was founded in 1986, more than 1,365 Granite State children have lived their wishes.

The raft-a-thon will begin with opening ceremonies at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. At 4 p.m. the teams will begin boarding their rafts. There will be entertainment during the evening capped with a movie beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday is for kids, beginning at 10 a.m. with a fleet of police cruisers, fire engines, ambulances and construction equipment to explore during Touch-a-Truck in the parking lot of Annalee Dolls on Daniel Webster Highway. Hesky Park will be alive with games, rafting and entertainment for children throughout the day. The evening features a cocktail regatta, barbeque and music trivia before closing with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

City drug prevention officer Eric Adams wins award

LACONIA — Prevention, Education and Treatment Officer Eric Adams has been awarded the New Hampshire Congressional Law Enforcement Award in the "Dedication and Professionalism" category.

Police Chief Christopher Adams (no relation) told the Laconia Police Commission Thursday that he had just received a letter from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) congratulating Eric Adams on behalf of the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation.

An award ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the New Hampshire Police Standard and Training facility in Concord.

This is Eric Adams' second year in the PET position since the Laconia City Council voted overwhelmingly to pay for the additional position within the police department in 2014. Since that time, he has gotten local, state and national attention with the pioneer program.

— Gail Ober

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