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Mascenic School District

Board discusses fencing around abandoned school

Move comes after Dollar General denied variance for site

  • The School Board will be discussing cordoning off the former Central Elementary School.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • The School Board will be discussing cordoning off the former Central Elementary School.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

GREENVILLE — With few prospective buyers, the Mascenic School Board is discussing how to best secure the site of the former Central Elementary School on Turnpike Road, following the Zoning Board’s rejection of Dollar General’s application for a variance to build there

At its meeting Monday, the School Board discussed what should happen to the school building and grounds, now that the chain retailer’s plan for a new 9,100-square-foot store on the property owned by the school district has been denied. The School Board said it has been delaying securing the site to avoid the cost had Dollar General purchased the property. Now, the Board is beginning to discuss what should happen to the property, which has been abandoned since 2011, when Highbridge Hill Elementary School was completed. The property is currently for sale by the Mascenic School District for $179,000.

Dollar General has 30 days from the submission of the ZBA’s July 18 decision to request a rehearing. Should the ZBA decline to rehear the proposal or rehear the proposal and again reject it, Dollar General may then appeal to the New Hampshire Superior Court.

School Board Chair Jeff Salmonson said Monday it needed to protect a well on the property that is owned by the district, but serves several of the surrounding properties. Also, he noted, residents have increasingly been using the school parking lot as a parking area for nearby commercial businesses.

The district’s building manager, Gary Somero, had suggested using concrete jersey barriers with chain link on top, with a chain-link gate entrance closed with a lock. In case of fire or other emergencies, officials would simply cut the chain to enter, Salmonson said.

The fencing would be set up at the property line, which is 50 feet from the center line or Route 123 and Route 124. School Board member Earl Somero questioned whether the entrance to Temple Road would also be cordoned off. Salmonson answered that it would. Somero is currently developing a plan for what the fencing would look like, said Salmonson.

School Board Vice Chair Tara Sousa said that the district does have some money in the budget that could be used to pay for the fencing. The board did not know the potential cost of closing off the school during Monday’s meeting.

The School Board agreed that at its next meeting, Somero would supply a rough design of the fence layout, as well as an estimated cost. The School Board will meet next on Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Mascenic Education Center in Greenville.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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