On Tuesday, October 17th, Rochester City Council approved up to $34 million for a new elementary school on Salmon Falls Road in East Rochester.
Following a comprehensive review, the planned 68,000-square-foot school will accommodate up to 420 students, replacing the Nancy Loud School, which was permanently closed in August due to safety concerns. The new school will also allow for the eventual closure of School Street School, and for the consolidation and closure of several modular units at William E. Allen School and Chamberlain School.
The new school will have multiple funding sources, $15.7 million from the State of NH Building Aid Grant, $1.4 million from the State of NH Adequacy Grant, $1.3 million from school capital reserve funds, $8 million in bonding, and $7.5 million from general fund unassigned fund balance. Reducing borrowing to $8 million assures the School’s annual debt service will experience only a moderate increase.
The Joint Building Committee, which is comprised of School Board and City Council members, met on October 11th with Banwell Architects, which provided the committee with preliminary designs including the building exterior plus classroom and cafeteria layouts. Banwell also created an “aspirational” classroom, which focuses on natural lighting and materials, flexible space, and state-of-the-art technology.
The Committee also met with the civil engineering firm Tighe & Bond to discuss site design. The full presentation may be found here.
According to Superintendent Kyle Repucci, the land on Salmon Falls Road has been carefully vetted, adding that other locations around the city were considered.