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Friday, March 4, 2016
Former School Board Member opposes SAU 90 School Bond Issue Warrant 1
By Art Gopalan @ 9:43 AM :: 3675 Views :: 1 Comments :: SAU 90

I thought it might be useful to disseminate some pertinent information about the proposed Hampton Academy renovations. I was a school board member from 2011-14 and served on the buildings committee in 2011-12. At that time, I examined the architects’ report on the building and its deficiencies. The new recent report does not differ from the prior report in terms of deficiencies and therefore my assessment is relevant.

At that time, a brand new school building was proposed on the Towel Farm road site for a cost of $28M excluding the all the road work and other public access issues. The board had considered it but voted against moving forward, instead opting for renovation of otherwise sound Hampton Academy building. I had presented to the board a detailed plan, floor by floor, addressing all the deficiencies including the inadequacy of the auditorium and the music room. It did not require dismantling of the 6th grade wing. The plan would have met all the state requirements except for the 15-acre requirement of open space. It was concluded that a state waiver can be obtained for it by including the Tuck Field as it was used by the school district and pointing out many of the urban schools would not meet that generous requirement.

The plan that I had proposed was cost estimated by the architects group (Harriman) at about $12M. The plan could be executed stretching over 4-years, working during the summer months to minimize disruption and inconvenience.

My concern was that we needed to change with the rapid infusion of technology in aiding learning on an individual needs basis and not invest extraordinary funds in brick and mortar based on yesterday’s method. We must make the Academy building safe but not plush.

Click here for Art's research, including design layouts

comment By Morning Light @ Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:42 PM
Hello. I was curious about the $12M price estimate by Harriman as I remember that study and contacted the SAU today to clarify. You are correct in stating that the NEW building construction would be $28M ($28,336,854) but the renovation numbers were quite different than $12M, It appears the Harriman estimate was $26,003,890. That number didn't include site work, off site improvements, surveys etc and it was more than $1M more than the current proposal in which all of those things have already been accomplished or are included. Also, that quote included architect and contractor fees of 9% and the current proposal has those fees at a mere 4%.

Having attended most of the forums and community presentations I feel that the district has done an incredible job educating/involving the community in this process. There were several revisions made to the plans along the way based on feedback by Hampton residents.

The 6th grade wing MUST come down. The hallways are lined with trash barrels whenever it rains to catch the water. There is no air ventilation. Lockers line both sides of the hallway making student traffic flow difficult. Especially when locker doors are open. That is the most recent addition added in 1974....and it was not done well.

Let's not CHEAP out again. Having a functional, efficient school that enhances student learning is not is much needed.

Also, if I understand correctly the author of this Letter to the Editor and the study above is no longer a Hampton resident.

Educate yourselves. Tour the school this Saturday from 9-12pm. See for yourself what is needed.

Polls are open on Tuesday from 7am to 8pm at WHS cafeteria. See you there.

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