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February 28, 2013

Windham school candidates differ on school proposal

WINDHAM – The big issue separating the town’s School Board candidates is the proposed $31 million middle school project.

Chairman Bruce Anderson, seeking re-election to a three-year term, believes a new school is the way to go.

“I support this warrant article as it is the only plan to address the facilities’ needs at all of our elementary schools,” Anderson told residents at the Windham Woman’s Club candidate forum last week.

A new school deals with crowding while also serving curriculum needs and best educational practices, Anderson said.

Challenger Dennis Senibaldi, a former selectman, disagrees with a new school.

“A phased approach is the way to go,” Senibaldi said, coming out for expansion of the existing middle school at the forum.

Senibaldi maintains an addition, costing about $10 million, is more fiscally responsible and would preserve the town’s opportunity for school building aid in future years.

He said he opposed a new school last year, will do so this year and promised to work toward a realistic project if elected.

Anderson challenged Senibaldi’s view.

“A phased addition will not solve all these immediate problems and will in the end cost the same or more than the proposed solution,” he said.

Here’s a look at the two candidates:

Bruce Anderson

Age: 50

Occupation: Principal and founder, Augmented Reality Systems Inc.

Incumbent: Yes

Elective experience: School Board

What is the single most important issue facing the Windham School District? The most important need is solving our space shortage so that an effective curriculum can continue to be delivered to students at all grade levels.

Dennis Senibaldi

Age: 45

Occupation: Town solid waste management supervisor

Incumbent: No

Elective experience: Selectman

What is the single most important issue facing the Windham School District? Giving our children access to the best education possible by solving our capacity and educational needs while maintaining their fiduciary responsibility to Windham residents.

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