DSB Decides On Budget Allocation For Tech Ed and Turf – Dresden School Board Update (1/23/18)

Last Tuesday, this month’s Dresden School Board meeting took place at seven o’clock in the HHS library. The meeting was focused on passing the 2018 budget. Two major discussions took place. The tech ed staff position had been previously taken out of the budget, but after lots of dissent from the community and hard work from Mr. Justin Campbell, the position was added at the last minute back into the budget. Arguments supporting the tech ed position included the fact that thousands of jobs in New Hampshire cannot be filled because there is a lack of people with the necessary technical skills. A community member also pointed out that the makers space in the basement of HHS (where the tech ed classes and equipment are located) may be able to fund itself if it was open to community members at a fee. The board moved forward with the budget to include the tech ed position.

The other major discussion was about replacing the HHS turf at the Merriman-Branch Field (a.k.a. the Turf). The board discussed the proposed options for the turf project including estimates for each option. There are currently two problems with the turf field. First, the turf itself is getting towards the end of its life cycle and will need to be replaced in the next few years. The second is that the storm water drainage system that runs under the turf field has likely been damaged for more than five years and needs repair. Tony Daigle, Head of Facilities, said that waiting one more year to repair the drainage system wouldn’t cause more damage. Jamie Teague, the business administrator, said that her suggestion is to “wait a year to do the right fix”. A year would provide time to do the necessary surveying, estimates, and research to know what repairs need to happen. The district’s superintendent, Dr. Jay Badams, said that “we need to do the responsible thing… which is to do it right instead of just putting down new carpet and then having to dig it back up to fix the drainage”. The board decided to not include any of the turf project in the 2018 budget and plans to repair both the turf field and the drainage system at the same time next year, so as to have time to research options and to save money.

Dr. Badams stated that “there have been over 30 meetings to discuss this budget”. On Tuesday, the 26 million dollar budget passed the Dresden School Board unanimously and will now be voted on by the town.

Mr. Campbell reported on the recent fire and said that he is “proud of the school’s response… this is something we take very seriously”.

Mr. Campbell and Mr. Mike Lepene (the principal of the Richmond Middle School) both directed the board to a document outlining Dresden District goals for 2017-2018 (attached at the end of this article)

Mr. Badams’s report included that on February 12th there will be a training about bullying, and that on February 7th there will be a meeting to “figure out how we will see the board’s goals to fruition”, including their goal of a building based management of curriculum. They are hoping to have a detailed plan by June.

For more information, see the SAU 70 website in the Dresden School Board Google Drive folder.


Editor’s note: Perrin Milliken (’18) is Council’s Dresden School Board Representative. Special thanks to her for writing these reports. 

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