Pembroke board to consider consolidating two elementary schools

  • Pembroke Academy as seen in April 2016. School board members are set to discuss the possibility of merging two of the town’s elementary schools – Village school and Hill School – during a meeting at Pembroke Academy on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Sunday, November 19, 2017

A school building project is in the pipeline for Pembroke.

The district’s two lower elementaries, Village School and Hill School, both need a slew of serious repairs. Now, school officials are wondering whether it would make sense to consolidate the two schools at the Hill facility.

The school board commissioned an engineering report on its four buildings about three years ago, school board Chairman Dan Driscoll said. The report found significant problems at Village and Hill, including asbestos, old electrical wiring and disability-access issues. Part of the Village School, which serves kindergartners and first-graders, dates back to the early 1900s.

“Is it worth putting millions of dollars into the Village School – or would it make more sense to expand Hill?” Driscoll asked.

Hill School, on Belanger Drive, serves second-, third- and fourth-graders.

The school board is set to get preliminary numbers from consultants Tuesday about what it could cost to renovate the separate buildings or consolidate the two schools and expand Hill. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Pembroke Academy. Driscoll cautioned that the numbers presented Tuesday won’t include projections regarding what it would cost to actually run the facilities. Those estimates will come later.

The body is also putting together a community committee that will consider the question.

“We’re hoping to get a diverse group of citizens together,” Driscoll said.

The school board hopes the committee could begin work in mid-December. Anybody thinking of joining can call the SAU at 485-5187.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)