Greenleaf Trail replaces Mountain Drive on 2015 road projects list

GILFORD — At the recommendation of Public Works Director Peter Nourse, selectmen last night voted unanimously to remove Mountain Drive from the 2015 summer road project list.

According to Scott Dunn and Alex Crawshaw of the company that works on the Gunstock Acres Village District water system, the district is planning on redoing the water lines on Mountain Drive in 2016 and the town Public Works Department and the village district would like to coordinate the repairs.

"We are saving money to do the water main on Mountain Drive in 2016," said Crawshaw, who agreed there is a need for them to work more closely with the Public Works Department. He noted that he and Public Works Director Peter Nourse are speaking with each other regularly about projects.

According to Selectboard Chair Gus Benavides, not doing Mountain Drive this year frees up about $134,000 for work to be done elsewhere. He suggested Greenleaf Trail, Poor Farm Road or Cumberland Road as alternative roads.

Nourse recommended Tate Road be moved to the top on the list, saying it is in very poor condition and that he could likely get another small road in the acres done as well.

But all three selectmen noted that Greenleaf Trail was omitted from this year's list because of financial limitations and suggested it should be added back.

"The road shoulders are starting to meet in the middle," said Selectman Chan Eddy.

Nourse also wanted to know what the Gunstock Acres Water District had in mind for Greenleaf Trail because he said there are a lot of breaks on it and he didn't want to fix it if it was going to have water main work performed on it as well.

"We don't want to spend money (on Greenleaf Trail) if you're just going to dig it up," said Benavides.

Crawshaw explained that the water district doesn't have a lot of money to work with and is not doing anything but emergency repairs this year to save the money for Mountain Drive next year. He said there are 15 1/2 miles of water mains in the acres of which 750 feet have been replaced in the past 20 years.

Selectmen voted unanimously to add Greenleaf Trail to this summers list.
Nourse said he would have an estimate on Greenleaf Trail shortly and, once he has that, he can determine if there will be money left over so he can possibly recommend other, shorter roads, for repair this summer.

Timothy Goggin introduced as new assistant principal at GHS

GILMANTON — The one thing the joint Gilford-Gilmanton School Board knows about newly named asst. Gilford High School Principal Timothy Goggin is that he can't wait to begin his new job.

In an interview with Goggin and next year's Principal Anthony Sperazzo, Goggin noted he was an English teacher for eight years before he turned down the administrative route.

A Claremont native and a 1997 Stevens High School graduate, Goggins studied World Literature at Granite State College and earned his Masters of Education in Special Education from Keene State College. He earned his principal certification from Granite State College.

In his most recent position, Goggin taught English at Granite Hill School — a school in Newport that focuses on finding the strengths in otherwise challenged children and helping them get an education.

Goggin has also been a night school instructor at Kearsarge Regional High School a support services provider at Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services on Southeast Vermont, a community support associate at Pathways and an educator for the Valley Academy for Special Education — most of these endeavors at the same time.

He said Tuesday night that just because he comes from a school that works with challenged children, he doesn't want to be pigeonholed into an educator who works only in special education.

His style, he said, has always been to build a rapport with his students, identify their strengths and educate from that prospective. Goggin said using that approach diminishes a lot of behaviors before they become problems for the child and the school in general.

Goggin said he selected Gilford High School in part because he checked their record and approach to education and felt it would be one that he could thrive in personally and accomplish a lot for his students.

"I turn each incident into a teachable moment," he said.

He said his long and short term goal is to become the best assistant principal he can be.

"I love school. I love to learn," Goggin said, noting he wanted these loves to be shared with all of the students at Gilford High School.

Goggin is married to an administrator in the Kearsarge District and the couple has a 2-month-old daughter. He said they have always loved the Lakes Region and hope to relocate here in the near future.

As for Sperazzo, he said he is excited to have some one with Goggin's capabilities and love of learning as his second in command as this will be his first year as a principal.

"I'm really excited on behalf of the students as well," said Sperazzo. "Students are the best part of what we do."

Sperazzo takes over as principal on July 1 and Goggin join the district on the same day.


CUTLINE: Tim Goggin sits in a language lab at the Gilmanton Elementary School following his introduction to the joint Gilford-Gilmanton School Board Tuesday night. Beginning in July, he will be the assistant principal at the Gilford High School. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Owner of former St. Helena church building seeking zoning variance

LACONIA — The owner of the former St.Helena Mission Church property at the Weirs has applied to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a variance to use the building for indoor storage, a use that is not permitted in the shorefront residential district.

REM Real Estate, LLC, acquired the 3.38-acre property last December for $185,000. At the time, Peter Morrissette, the principal partner of the company, said the partners had no specific plans for the property, but intended to explore its residential development. The zoning ordinance would permit six single-family homes or 20 condominium units to be built on the lot.

In February, the City Council denied a request made by REM Real Estate to change the city's zoning ordinance to allow boat and watercraft storage in the shorefront residential district. The company argued that such a use would be complimentary to the area because so many residents there own boats.

As a storage facility, the exterior of the building would be maintained without change, the owner says. Nor would there be an office or signage on the site. At the same time, the site would continue to serve as a stopping place and turnaround for school buses as well as impound lot for Police Department during Motorcycle Week.

The building does not lend itself to conversion to either a residential use or to the commercial uses as a "neighborhood store" or "hotel/motel/inn" permitted in the zone. Moreover, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, the prior owner of the property, limited its future use by placing permanent restrictions on the deed that run with the land. Without the authorization of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester the property cannot be used as a place of worship or to house the performance or promotion of services, such as abortion, sterilization and euthanasia, contrary to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Likewise, the property cannot be used to sell pornographic material, offer massage or tattooing, operate a restaurant serving alcohol, as a bar night club, dance hall, or as a venue for live performances "inconsistent with the faith and morals of the Roman Catholic Church" catering to an adult audience.

Student leads successful drive to make room for music classes within the regular Inter-Lakes HS day

MEREDITH — The Inter-Lakes School Board unanimously agreed Tuesday night to adopt a proposed class schedule change for the high school which will allow the band, chorus and jazz band to hold practices during the normal school day.
Currently those groups are limited to one hour after-school practices, which are cut short by the need for half of their members to leave on the junior high school bus, which cuts practice time by 20 minutes.
The schedule change which will be implemented by the school administration will see the block schedule changed from four to five blocks by shortening the current "blocks" and creating a 40-minute ''Office Hours'' period each day which students will use for competency completion, mentoring and the band and music programs.
The proposed change was outline in a report to the board by I-L High School Senior Hannah Crosby and was accompanied by a petition signed by over 100 high school students supportive of the change.
Crosby, who was invited by Superintendent of Schools Mary Ellen Ormond to sit at the table with school board members during the discussion, wrote that her research had shown that sports practices meet for an average of 10 hours a week while the entirety of the music program meets for only three hours a week.
She said that participation drops in the music programs offered by the school district after middle school because there are conflicts on after school rehearsals and there is not enough time for the students to become well prepared as musicians.
Her proposal was strongly endorsed by Ormond, who said she couldn't think of a program she would like to see implemented more than the one proposed by Crosby. ''It brings us one step closer to helping kids direct their own learning path. It's one of the best steps forward we can take at the high school.''
High School Principal Patti Kennelly wrote a memo outlining how the so-called ''Office Hours'' program would work and said that she could see great benefits to adopting the program, which she said would meet the needs and interests of all students, not just those in the music programs.
She said that all of the details haven't been finalized and that she is sure that adjustments will be required along the way but that is a worthwhile program which will work well for the students and the staff.
School Board Chairman Richard Hanson said that he was at first reluctant to bring the proposal to a vote at the meeting but realized that it meant either scheduling a summer board meeting or delaying its implementation into the next school year.
He congratulated Crosby for her proposal and said that ''it may bring significant positive change in our high school.''
Her proposal was strongly supported by fellow students and parents who turned out for the meeting.
I-L student Allie Smith said the school's jazz band needs the change in order to attract more students and said that the way the schedule change works will depend on each student's needs.
Another student, Jackson Williams, said that his research had shown that over 60 percent of the students wanted to see arts programs like music offered during the school day.
Crosby wrote that her research had shown that other schools in the area like Laconia, Franklin, Moultonborough and Kennett all have music classes during the normal school day.


Hannah Crosby, Inter-Lakes High School senior, discusses a proposed schedule change at Inter-Lakes High School which would add a 40-minute period which would allow band and chorus practice during the school day. The Inter-Lakes School Board unanimously adopted her proposal. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)