Buildings in Good Shape for Start of 2015-16 School Year

Derry’s five elementary schools, two middle schools and School Administrative Unit (SAU) building were ready to open their doors for the first day of school Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Business Manager Jane Simard gave a report on summer maintenance at the Aug. 25 School Board meeting.

Simard and Buildings and Grounds Director Gary Webster saved money with a “use it up, wear it out, make it do” philosophy. When one of the two boilers at East Derry Memorial Elementary School failed, she learned it would cost $30,000 to replace and $12,000 to repair. “We’re repairing,” Simard said.

The air conditioning in the technology office at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, where David Minkle manages the district’s cable TV station, also failed, Simard said. That will cost $9,000 to replace and $5,000 to repair. “We put it out to bid, but it’s sometimes difficult to get bids back,” she observed.

The elevators at both middle schools failed over the summer and the cost to repair the one at West Running Brook is estimated at $6,000, the one at Hood, $2,400. She couldn’t get a bid for the Hood one so she called the Stanley Company, with whom she has dealt before, and said they were scheduled to arrive Aug. 26 at 8 a.m. The repairs for the West Running Brook elevator were expected to be done within two weeks.

“Unfortunately, all this happened over the last two weeks,” Simard said. “I hope by the beginning of school that everything will smooth out.”

She and Webster practice preventive maintenance, keeping track of equipment needs on a regular basis with the School Dude software program. But sometimes things happen, she said, and they happened this summer.

Simard has deferred a few projects, such as stripping and refinishing hardwood floors and replacing carpet with tile, she said. She plans to have these done during the next school vacation.