BELMONT — Could the Gale School be used as a the town library?
The ad hoc Save the Gale School Committee thinks so, and last night two of its members broached the subject with the Shaker Regional School Board.
Conservation Commission member Ken Knowlton and former School Board Chair Pret Tuthill think the 119-year-old building, which has been idle since the 1980s, can be moved from its current spot behind the Belmont Middle School and placed on the empty lot on the corner of Memorial and School streets.
A recent evaluation by Omega Structural Engineers, PLLC said the building and, with the exception of its foundation, is sound. Tuthill said he knows it would need lead and possible asbestos remediation, but using it is still an option.
The recent study was paid for by the Save the Gale School fund.
According to Tuthill, the Library Trustees think the Belmont Library needs more room. He said there is "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in the Duffy Fund — a fund established in 1927 by Walter and George Duffy, who were the owners of the Belmont Hosiery Mill. The Duffys built the current library and donated 5,000 books to its initial collection.
Tuthill said until recently the Library Trustees were under the impression that the money could only be spent on the existing building, but he said he has since learned differently.
"It is our contention that the money is available," Tuthill said, noting the money left over from the 1927 project has "swollen to quite a bit of money."
He said Diane Marden of the Belmont Historical Society was making a similar presentation to the Belmont Library Trustees at their meeting last night.
Tuthill also said Shaker Regional Building and Grounds Director Doug Ellis got an estimate yesterday of $40,000 to tear down the Gale School — a number that doesn't include any lead paint or asbestos remediation.
"We could offer to buy it from you for and set it on our own foundation," Tuthill said, suggesting the school district could contribute the $40,000 to the move rather than spend it in demolition.
Tuthill said if the library doesn't want the old school, maybe the town would.
He also said that he and Knowlton think the town of Belmont is looking to use the Belmont Mill someday as town offices, a which point the senior center and the daycare center would need a new home.
Should the old Gale School be available and the library doesn't want it, Tuthill said those two uses could qualify the for some state or federal community development grants.
"Can you live with it on Concord Street and with public access?" asked Tuthill, saying he didn't expect an answer right away.
Nor did he get one. Shaker School Board Chair Heidi Hutchinson asked Ellis how current the estimate was to tear it down but after that, the board went on to its other business.
Library Trustee Chair Mary Louise Charnley said Marden made her presentation to the trustees last night.
She said they took no action, but plan to discuss the proposal in a future meeting.
"I don't know what we're going to do," Charnley said. "We're just digging through the paperwork."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 02:18
SANBORNTON — Eight-year veteran library director Cab Vinton will be departing the Public Library here to take over as the director of the Plaistow Public Library in the southeast corner of the state.
Vinton started his work with the library as a trustee in 2005 and became the librarian in September of 2006, after serving as interim director for a period of time.
"Hey you have a library degree," Vinton said he was told by the Library Trustees.
Among Vinton's accomplishments, he said Tuesday he is the most proud of completing the physical expansion of the local library.
He said the money for the expansion and renovation to the second floor was approved sometime in the 1990s. Because of various "snags" he said the groundbreaking didn't take place until 2005.
But by that time, the costs of the renovation had soared and instead of the library needing to privately raise 10 percent of the costs of the renovation, it now needed to raise two and a half times more money because the town's contribution stayed the same.
"For a small town, this community really stepped up," Vinton said.
He said the upstairs has mobile shelving handmade by volunteers that can be rolled around the room to configure it as needed.
For example, Vinton said that if all the shelves are moved to one side, there is space for 100 people to sit. The library has been used for a variety of meetings including a couple of candidates' nights.
Recently, N.H. author and humorist Rebecca Rule spoke at the Library and Vinton said all they had to do was roll the carts to one side and set up chairs for the lecture.
Vinton has also taken the library into the modern era by installing four public computers. He also wanted to thank Robert and Patricia Risley for donating six laptops in memory of their son.
When Vinton first came to the library it was still using card catalogs. "We skipped a century when in 2009 we became completely computerized," he said.
But it's the numbers that tell the story of the Sanbornton Public Library — over the past five years visits to the institution have increased by 25 percent while the checkout of items has risen 80 percent.
"We try to cater to everyone in Sanbornton — from babies to the older residents," Vinton said.
As to his impending move, he said he is excited and nostalgic at the same time.
Plaistow, he said, has a library that is about 2-to-4 times the size of the Sanbornton Library and represents a challenge to him professionally as its new director.
"But, I'm really going to miss Sanbornton," he said. "I've made some wonderful friends here."
Vinton's last day in September 13. He said Mary Algren, a Sanbornton resident and the retired director of the Hall Memorial Library that serves Tilton and Northfield will be leading the committee searching for his replacement.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 03:30
MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes School Board last night approved the transfer of $226,924 from its fund balance for several projects it deems as key priorities, including $68,000 for 118 new interior door locks which will enable doors to be locked from inside without the use of a key.
Trish Temporino, school district business administrator, said the that the new locks will address a security concern as well as comply with fire codes. The doors will also be able to be unlocked from the inside without a key.
Also approved by the board was another security related item, $21,394 for new radios with a repeater system for use in extreme emergencies which will enable both the police and fire departments to monitor communications within the school during those incidents.
Temporino said the plan had originally called for installation of more security cameras at the district's schools but it was decided that the new communications system had a higher priority.
The board also approved $65,000 for unanticipated special education placements, $37,000 for an update to the science lab, $19,000 for a underground pipe for the oil tank at Inter-Lakes High School, $10,530 for additional police coverage on Rte. 25 in front of the high school and $6,000 for human services and culinary tech tuition at Huot Center in Laconia.
Temporino explained that prior to the transfers the anticipated fund balance was approximately $476,924, the result of excess revenues of $108,477 and unexpended funds of $368,447.
The transfers will reduce the fund balance to $250,000 and the district intends to place $30,000 into an existing playground expendable trust, leaving $220,000 to be used to reduce the tax assessment for 2013.
The board also learned that it will be receiving additional funds from the Local Government Center in the form of credits for future health insurance premiums, which will reduce the amount the district will need to raise in the future.
Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond said that the district chose to take the funds as credits because it if had taken cash it would not have been able to reimburse current teachers and retirees out of those funds.
Temporino said that the district received a $111,000 credit for 2011, of which $17,000 in credits of which went to employees and retirees and $94,000 to the school district. Next month it will receive a $275,000 credit with $240,000 going to the district and credits amounting $35,000 to teachers and retirees.
The board spent nearly an hour discussing a proposal by Sandwich Central School Principal John Hansen to use an on-line Spanish teaching program from Middlebury College's Language School at Sandwich Central School.
Hansen said that over the last five years he has hired three different Spanish teachers for the one-day a week Spanish classes for grades 1-6 at the school and has not yet been able to find a Spanish teacher for this school year.
Board member Carol Baggaley said that she would like to have parents and board members see a demonstration of the program before signing on to it.
Several parents from Sandwich expressed reservations about learning Spanish through a computer, rather than from a person, and Hansen said that he hoped to have Inter-Lakes High School Spanish students visit the school to assist in instruction.
He planned to arrange a session at which the material can be previewed in the near future.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 03:30
LACONIA — Billed as ''the Galaxy's Most Original '80s Tribute Band'', Rubix Kube will be at Laconia High School Friday night at 8 p.m. to present a free Putnam Fund concert.
The group is led by a by a male and female dynamic duo of karma chameleons, able to transform in the-blink-of-an-eye into the voice and character of any 1980s icon.
Cherie Martorana, frontwoman for the group, hails from Reading. Mass., and is the fourth in a clan of six kids. She credits her sister, Susan, for turning her on to music at a young age, when she gave Cherie her first vinyl Pat Benatar record.
At first an untapped "shower" singer, Cherie embarked on a successful career as a board game developer /puzzle book author until 2006. When she took her mom's "It's never too late advice" she then moved to New York City where her career as a professional performer took flight.
Cherie's first gig as a singer was doing back-ups for the legendary "World Famous Live Rock & Roll Karaoke Band" at Arlene's Grocery, where she was dubbed "Cherie-oke," The Rock 'n' Roll She-Devil. Soon after, Rubix Kube was formed and Cherie quickly moved up the ranks to frontwoman. On the side, she is also a back-up vocalist for The Little Death, an original Rock & Blues band featuring the Grammy-nominated artist MOBY and vocal powerhouse Laura Dawn.
Frontman Scott Lovelady is just a small-town boy, yet born and raised in the not-so-tiny town of Manhattan, N.Y. The son of a master puppeteer who worked on "The Muppets," Scott was destined to a life of grand performance and theatrics. He made his stage debut at the tender age of 6 months as Baby Snow White and later went on to model for Capezio and Sears.
A matrix of careers in puppeteering, animatronics, medieval armory, sound design, songwriting, and acting followed. Yet it was singing that became his calling, when in the 1990s he began fronting the infamous NYC rock band Fat Bastid. Stints also in Legion of Decency and Silverboy garnered him chops and notoriety in the music scene.
When the seeds were planted for Rubix Kube, Scott was an obvious choice for lead male vocalist with his wide range and diversity of styles and tones. His uncanny ability to simulate a multitude of 80s stars in voice, dress and body movement, along with a high-energy, quirky stage presence make him a perfect fit in The Galaxy's Most Original Eighties Tribute Band.
Their supporting sidekicks, including Steve Brown of the million-selling Rock band TRIXTER and David Z from The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, John LaSpina on drums, who has shared the stage with former/current members of Twisted Sister, Billy Joel, and Dave Chappelle's backing band, and Mike Pieck on Keyboards/Keytar, an MIT grad who moved to NYC and quickly became part of downtown's most high energy backing bands, including The Material Boys, The Vanities, and The Full Muscular Band.
Admission to the concert is free for all ages with the first to arrive the first to be seated.
Rubix Kube will perform Friday night at Laconia High School in a Putnam Fund sponsored free concert. (Courtesy photo)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 03:20
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