The Rochester School District and Superintendent Kyle Repucci are announcing that Nancy Loud School will close permanently after structural surveys concluded the building is not safe for occupancy.
The School was scheduled to accommodate 88 students in Grades K-4 this school year. The District is finalizing a plan to reassign students in time for the opening of the school year on Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Each Nancy Loud student will have a seat at another school. The District will inform parents and guardians of the new assignments by Friday, Aug. 18. All staff will be retained in other jobs in the District. As much as possible, the District will be working to keep Nancy Loud students and staff together.
The Nancy Loud and School Street Schools were scheduled to close in 2025, when a new elementary school building on Salmon Falls Road is expected to open.
The District has been monitoring the conditions at the School during recent heavy rains, and requested structural engineers Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates, Inc., of Manchester, review the building’s condition for the coming school year.
The review determined the stone and brick foundation has deteriorated and settled. As a result, brick foundation walls and exterior wood-framed walls along the southeast exterior wall are displaced outward. These walls support the second floor and roof above. These conditions make it unsafe to occupy.
A further review by S.W. Cole Engineering of Londonderry determined that the foundation will continue to deteriorate, requiring both repair work to shore up the walls and further testing to determine ways to secure the foundation.
Temporarily shoring up the walls will take at least four weeks, and cost at least $280,000.
After review of the repair options, and after consultation with Rochester’s Building Inspector, Superintendent Repucci and Facilities Director Dave Totty recommended the closing at a special School Board meeting on Thursday night. The Board supported the recommendation with a 9-1 vote.
Board Members Matthew Beaulieu, David Camire, Shane Downs, Donna Ellis, Paul Lynch, Anne Grassie, Sarah Harrington, Matthew Pappas, and Audrey Stevens voted to support the recommendation. Member Sandy Keans voted against. Members Matthew Munn, Thomas O’Connor, and Karen Stokes were not present.
The Nancy Loud School opened in 1880 as the original East Rochester School. It was renamed the East Rochester Annex when the new East Rochester School opened in the late 1950s. The Annex was closed for several years, then reopened in 1971. It was renamed in 2008 for Nancy Loud, the first Principal of the Annex.
Parents, guardians, and community stakeholders are invited to attend a forum about the Nancy Loud School and reassignment plans on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 5-7 p.m. at Rochester City Hall. District leaders will provide an overview of this issue and present plans to accommodate student and staff moves.
Attendees will have ample opportunity to ask questions and to provide feedback that will help guide the district as it finalizes its transition plan.
Superintendent Repucci and the District will provide regular updates in the coming weeks to minimize the impact on the school community.