In other Pentucket news, selectmen announced they have reached a lease agreement for use of the town’s elementary school. After some debate, West Newbury has agreed to align the language in its lease with what is contained in leases for elementary schools signed by Groveland and Merrimac – the other towns in the Pentucket District. The school board is expected to finalize all three documents at its next meeting on July 23.
Selectmen also reported there was a possibility the district could tap school building funds from the state for future projects at the Middle and High Schools. Selectmen stressed that nothing is guaranteed and both projects would require town meeting approval.
Still, they felt it was promising that an application for work at the Middle School has proceed to the next stage and could be eligible for at least a 50% reimbursement from the state for energy-related repairs. A project to “re-fit the high school” would require several years of planning, beginning with a feasibility study, but, if approved by the state, could realize a 50 – 55% reimbursement.
Kemper said it was regrettable that a plan for new high school was rejected by voters several years ago. At that time the state would have reimbursed the project at a rate of 72%, leaving just 28% to be spread out over the three district towns.