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Newport City Elementary School Board discusses emergency funding for siding and mold issues

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NEWPORT — The Newport City Elementary School Board held its reorganizational meeting on Monday, March 11, electing new officers and discussing the pursuit of emergency state funding to address siding and mold issues at the school.

Carrie Ann Roberge was elected as chairperson, with Maryellen Maclure serving as vice chairperson and Mary Ellen Prairie as clerk. Maclure and Roberge were also appointed as the board’s representatives to the North Country Supervisory Union (NCSU) Full Board.

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During the meeting, Principal Aaron Larsen informed the board that the school had been identified as needing improvement and had been awarded a $200,000 annual grant for three years to address academic issues, including safety and health. The grant will be used to conduct a needs assessment and potentially invest in a new literacy program for grades K-6.

The board also discussed the need for emergency state funding to address siding and mold issues in the older part of the school building.

Larsen explained that rotted, non-pressure-treated wood underneath the vertical siding had led to mold growth, which has since been addressed by replacing the wood and installing air handlers and filters. However, the siding still needs to be replaced, with an estimated cost of $92,000.

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The board voted to sign an application to pursue emergency state funding, which could cover up to 30% of the project’s cost. If approved, the remaining funds could be drawn from the school’s construction fund or the current year’s budget surplus without depleting reserves.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m.

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