School building on track

LYNDEBOROUGH – The new combined elementary school building at Florence Rideout “is on budget and on time,” School Board Vice-
chairman Harry Dailey told the Board of Selectmen on Jan. 21.

The plan is still on track for the students in the 1950s wing to move into their new classrooms over vacation the last week of February.

Dailey, Board Chairman Geoff Brock and Superintendent Dr. Christine Tyrie were present to discuss several concerns selectmen raised concerning changing the Central School to the district kindergarten in September, particularly parking and traffic patterns. Police Chief Rance Deware and Fire Chief Rick McQuade were present.

Selectmen, particularly Chairman Fred Douglas, had expressed concerns about the large number of cars expected. The school is on Route 31, on the crest of hill, with poor sight distance to the north, and there has been a problem with speed.

Deware said he was concerned because there is no breakdown lane, no place to stack cars waiting to enter the lot. He also said the flashing light will have to be adjusted to accommodate a noontime change of classes.

Dailey said the plan is to have the staff park in the lower, southern lot, SAU staff behind the school, and have two lanes of traffic along the front of the school. All students would use the main entrance, allowing more rooms for cars at the southern entrance.

Dailey said a traffic study should be done to determine what the regular noontime traffic is.

Douglas asked about the generator at the school and the use of the school as an emergency shelter. McQuade said the town owns the generator and regularly maintains it.

Tyrie said the district will sign a memorandum of understanding concerning the use of the school. A contingency plan will be worked out for emergencies, when designated personnel cannot reach the school, during floods or ice storms, for instance.

Selectman Lee Mayhew asked about two proposed warrant articles dealing with full time kindergarten.

Brock said the Budget Committee has endorsed the idea of an extended day, one that would provide a full kindergarten program for half a day and a lesser program for the other half. Parents would be charged for the service and buses would provide transportation for Florence Rideout Elementary where students could take part in programs. The proposed cost is $250 per month, similar to day care costs, which is expected to cover all the costs of teachers and supplies.

The proposal will be on the School district warrant on March 6.

Brock said he supports a full-day program but said he did not think the town would approve it.

“Studies have shown the benefits of kindergarten,” he said.