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Holland School Board, selectboard discuss future of former school building at joint meeting

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HOLLAND — The Holland School Board and town selectboard held a joint meeting on Tuesday, April 9, to discuss options for the future of the former Holland Elementary School building and grounds. The meeting, which began at 6:30 p.m., focused on what information should be presented to voters at a public forum scheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Board Chair John Castle outlined four potential options for the property: keeping the building under school district ownership, selling the building and grounds, transferring ownership to the town, or transferring ownership to the Holland Community Center. Castle emphasized that reopening the building as a school is not a viable option.

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Ernie Emmerson, representing the Holland Community Center, asked attendees to consider why some residents may not be supporting the center’s events, despite initial interest in a community center when the school closed. Lucy Neel suggested the center consult with other community centers in the area for ideas on making events more appealing to Holland residents.

Emmerson also noted that selling the building for $200,000 would not be financially prudent, as constructing a new community center would cost over $400,000. He suggested focusing on making necessary repairs to the existing building, estimated at around $175,000.

Following the joint meeting, which adjourned at 7:06 p.m., the school board reconvened to address regular agenda items. These included appointing Jay Bonneau and Kevin Charboneau as truant officers, awarding a lawn care bid to Mr. Fortin, and discussing lease agreements with current tenants, including a pre-K program, the Nulhegan Education and Cultural Center, and a potential office space rental.

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The board also reviewed the 2024 Annual Report highlights and received an update on roof repair bids for the building.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for May 7 at 6:30 p.m., while the public forum, which will include a free spaghetti dinner sponsored by the Holland Community Center, will take place on April 24 at 5:30 p.m.

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