Letter to the Editor

Raymond Board Establishes Elementary School Building Committee – Here we go again.

The School Board has again decided to create an Elementary School Building Committee. (http://www.raymondareanews.com/news/school/raymond/School-Board/2019-school-board-mtgs.php#05012019)

While they were asked if they wanted the committee to focus on renovating the school, building a new school or comparing those two options, the board said they wanted the directive to be open-ended . “We owe it to ourselves and to the town to show both options,” board member Janice Arsenault said, while Board chairman Joe Saulnier added, “We need to keep an open mind to every possibility.”

I respectfully request that the School Board stop, do away with this committee, and appoint a School District Facilities Committee. 

I believe the School District owes it to the voters of Raymond to look at more than two options.  More than just renovate or build.  We know we have a High School running at about 50-60% of capacity.  We know we have a beautiful new middle school.  So why are we not looking at the big picture? Why are we not evaluating all the school district facilities to learn how we can optimize their use? Buildings, playing fields, land etc.

School Board members will tell you that, “we have looked at these”.  But where is the data? They will tell you that to move Middle school students to the High School is more than smaller desks.  That in order to move elementary school students to the Middle school, you would have to change the “pods”, provide more for special ed, and expand the school.  That is fine, I can buy that, I can understand that; but show us the data. 

Show us in writing, the costs, the pros, the cons.  Show it all to the voters so they can understand all the issues, not just what was talked about at a Wednesday night School Board meeting.  The voters should see it in writing with comparative data. Publish it, put it where voters can find it.  Renovate the current LRES building or build a new LRES? Make Raymond High School a Jr/Sr. High School? Expand IHGMS? Or something else?  The Board & Administration are so focused on teaching the children. Now it is time to educate the voters, residents and taxpayers.

In the end the School Board may come up with one recommendation (and I do sincerely hope they will take a stand).  But, in my honest opinion, if this committee looks at the two options of renovate or build an Elementary school,  it will fail miserably, and voters will turn you down again. .

Kevin Woods
25 Nancy Lane
Raymond, NH





































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