Weathersfield to vote again on Perkinsville School
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | February 27,2013
WEATHERSFIELD — The Perkinsville School building project may finally see the light of day. That’s because it is carrying a lower price tag than it did when Weathersfield residents defeated a special article 744-659 in November.
On Town Meeting Day, voters will be asked to approve $225,000 for the purpose of removing hazardous materials and demolishing the 1954 and 1969 additions to the 1879 brick school house. The total project is estimated to cost $400,000 with the remaining funds to be covered by grants.
Weathersfield Town Manager Jim Mullen believes a reason for its November defeat was the $700,000 price tag, which was the cost to demolish both additions and renovate the school building simultaneously.
By breaking the project up, Mullen believes it is more likely to pass this time.
“I think (the November article) was confusing to people to have everything done at once,” Mullen said. “By splitting the project in two halves, you can get grant money for removing purposes and lower the actual costs.”
According to Mullen, the brick school house is still usable but needs major renovations. He estimates it may need up to $1.3 million in repairs and the town will revisit the matter after town meeting.
Mullen said the building may be used as a facility for public use. The town thought about selling the school to a private institution but the plan never materialized.
“It will be more attractive as a public park and the eye sores will no longer be there,” Mullen said. The Perkinsville School on Schoolhouse Road enrolled students in kindergarten through third grade until 2008, when it was consolidated with the Weathersfield School in Ascutney. The Weathersfield School is a kindergarten through eighth-grade school.
The School Department within the township sold the old Perkinsville building to the town for $1, and school and town officials discussed the building’s future. The School Department sold it to the town because they could not maintain it.
Voting will take place by Australian ballot from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Martin Memorial Hall, 5259 U.S. Route 5 in Ascutney. All other voting on town meeting articles will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Weathersfield School, 135 Schoolhouse Road in Ascutney.