Group explores future of Londonderry's schools

Courtesy photo An aerial view of South Londonderry Elementary School, taken in 2008 shows a block of modular classrooms on the north portion of the building. The School District is currently studying school buildings to figure out what needs improving. 

LONDONDERRY — The School District continues to study its space, numbers and better ways to utilize its educational capacity.

A facility study committee, put in place in 2019, is now looking at enrollment numbers and the physical layout of the district. This was the topic of a presentation at a recent meeting of the School Board.

The Trident Group, a private company dedicated to supporting school districts, municipalities and other organizations with planning and developing building projects, gave School Board members information on each of the district's buildings and what might be needed to keep them in top form.

Trident's work also ties in with the district's goals to put in place a multi-year master plan to address some of the most necessary projects over a course of several years.

Marc LeHoullier of The Trident Group told the board the goal is to bring in architectural and engineering experts to assess buildings, make a plan and have a matrix of those assessments and studies in place for the district's timetable or potential projections.

LeHoullier was joined by representatives of the Lavallee/Brensinger Architects group.

LeHoullier said the plan is to eventually create a capital improvements report, offer a study on the existing conditions of all buildings, and do interviews with staff and administration.

"This is a process," he said, noting that the ultimate goal is to determine what the district's next 10 years might look like.

Architect Anne Ketterer with the Lavallee/Brensinger group, told board members they examined everything in each school building.

"We looked at the good, the bad and the ugly," she said, adding that also included how the district teaches its students within those physical walls.

Going through each building, from Moose Hill, the three elementary schools, middle school and on to the high school, Ketterer said lists were made of spaces identified as suitable for learning, and what areas need upgrades.

Some buildings are older than others, and some had multiple additions and renovations over the years, she said.

The lists include what the district has, what the district needs, and what the district wants, she added.

The findings won't necessarily warrant brand new buildings, Ketterer said, but will determine ways to be more efficient.

Tony Defransesco, a member of the district's facilities study group, called the current study a "snapshot in time" of what is currently here. The group will meet to go over the Trident/Lavallee/Brensinger information.

"And no one is suggesting anything, no one is building anything, no one is knocking anything down," Defransesco said. "A lot is going to depend on the feedback from the community."

Board member Bob Slater continued his quest to advocate for a plan to eventually relocate the district offices back to a more centralized location. Right now the district offices are in a leased space on Kitty Hawk Drive.

The facilities study group may include the SAU/district offices in its future meeting discussions. 

Trending Video

Recommended for you