Letter to the Editor

HCS Renovation Is the Solution to Future Growth And Better Education
Submitted By Terri Malcolm 2-15-21

To the voters of Hampstead:

My name is Terri Malcolm. I've have had the privilege of teaching many preschool and kindergarten children in this community since 1989 as director and teacher at Stepping Stones School. My husband, Fred, and I moved to Hampstead in 1983 to start our family. We moved here on recommendations from friends who were raised in this town and were raising their children here.

I never dreamed that one day my son would move back, and our grandchildren would attend school in Hampstead. My sons attended HCS in the 90s, a few years after the last major renovation. 30 years have passed since then. Just as school curriculum and technologies evolved between when I attended school and when my boys did, school has continued to progress for my grandchildren's generation. In 1992, students were just being introduced to computers, with one shared machine per classroom, now every student has their own laptop.

Like advances in medical technology, new practices in education have been researched and found to be more beneficial to students. Would we want our doctors to treat us using the same practices and facilities as 30 years ago, or do we want them using cutting edge technology? In Hampstead, our "doctors" of the future are still being educated in antiquated and potentially unhealthy facilities.

This renovation project is needed, well thought out, and the cost is reasonable because of the low interest rates, possibility for grants and using existing funds to offset costs. Now is the time to Vote yes on Articles 2 and 4 on March 9. The need isn't going away. As an educator in town, I've used NESDEC to forecast my school's population. I have found them to be very accurate over the years. Stepping Stones' school enrollment has been reflective of the forecasted increases and decreases in student population. NESDEC is predicting significant growth in Hampstead's school population for the next several years. This project used those numbers to decide how many classrooms will be needed long-term. This project isn't just a temporary fix, but a solution to future needs.

Travel around NH and take a look at the new schools other nearby towns have built in the past few years and you will see how HCS is lacking. We need a library, gym, music room and cafeteria. We need a secure entrance with office space and nurses offices located near it. We need a healthy environment where outside exhaust isn't pulled into the building, temperature-control so that classrooms aren't freezing in cold weather or sizzling in the heat. We need sprinklers to reduce risk to children and the facility. We need enough classrooms to house our growing school population. None of these things are luxuries - they are necessities!

Our taxes are always a concern, especially for the older citizens of our community. But the costs related to this project are reasonable, affordable, and wise. I have always been grateful for those who voted yes to support our schools over the 37 years we've lived in this town. And now I feel it is my responsibility to pay it forward for future generations.

With regards,
Terri Malcolm, Hampstead Resident
















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