A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 102

School time, party time

Contrary to what you may have already perused in the press, a new Farmington High School building has not been placed out for bid. Nothing has been finally decided. The democratic process has not been circumvented.

The current situation is this: Convinced of the need, by 1990, for such a facility, the administration (i.e. Supt. Jim Bibbo, asst. supt. and successful ball player Skip Damon, along with principal and unsuccessful hunter Ken Beaupre) have been consulting with the architectural firm of Lavallee & Breslinger regarding the feasibility of the projected site, and possible building requirements and design. The School Board was updated, at last Thurday's meeting, of the progress of these consultations - a board, incidentally, that also appears won over to the arguments in favor of construction.

No matter. New England style democracy does not stop there. When a final determination about size, equipment and location has been made, a warrant article will be prepared, which will go before the Farmington Budget Committed, and this will, in turn, be Recommended or Not Recommended to the voters at Town Meeting in March. It is then that the decision to build a new high school or no will be made by a majority of those present. Sounds fair to me.

The arguments against a new school might well come from the more elderly residents of Farmington, understandably fearful of a property tax hike to finance the repayment of a bond, or from younger residents who dispatch their children to private schools in nearby towns. Many other people, particularly those with students placed in the Farmington school system at present, and who are familiar with the recent population growth (plus that in the pipeline), have accepted what the Administration would call the inevitability of the expansion.

The high school population is presently 340, which is 99 percent of capacity, according to the state. This figure is expected to dip slightly over the next two years, as the present 7th and 8th graders feed through. But then, in 1990, the fun starts and the shoehorns come out, as the kids in elementary school now arrive. And this is not a bulge that will decrease in a few years. This is the crunch called Population Growth, without Rancourt's or anyone else's trailer park even in the picture. It is the population growth caused by folk moving into this delightful spot over the last few years. This phenomenon alone, some would say, necessitates urgent additional room for the elementary school, which already rents space for two classes. By next year, the overspill will be even greater, and there will be a struggle to maintain a teacher/student ratio at 1/25.

If the voters do give approval for the new high school construction at the Town Meting in March, 1988, work on the project should be complete by January 1990.

One lucky break is that the town already owns 25 very suitable acres at the rear of the present complex of buildings and sports facilities, a site that architect Fred Urtz calls one of the better in the state. But whether or not the bulldozers move in come the summer of 1988 is yet up to the voters. Progress and Democracy march hand in hand - there is no dispute on that score.

Overheard Conversation

"Gee! That was a really boring piece this week. What's next?"

"Hmm. Something about parties, I think. I hope it's not Republicans and Democrats."

The Party Place

Good old Farmington. Scarcely a month goes by without some new comet sweeping into its ken and lighting up the night, usually in the Interesting Quarter, also known as Downtown. The particular comet in question is of special fascination to me, as its beams blaze forth from the very apartment in which I lived until so recently. Now, with much more exciting inhabitants than I, a large sign is afixed to the wall that beckons to Main Street, and reads: The Party Place.

I called up my friends and former downstairs neighbors to congratulate them on their good fortune in being so close to the epicenter of What's Happening. Mr. Wayne Willey issued the following statement in a voice notable for its lack of tranquility: "Itís terrible, pure hell, a constant flow of people from other towns, it started at Thanksgiving and hasnít let up from the morning until dawn and teen-agers coming down the stairs so..." (cont on Page 94)

Ballbouncing news

Congratulations and jubilations and exultations. Hats in the air. Whoopee! Free invites for all to The Party Place? No, but almost as good. Both Farmington High School teams won in the Christmas tournament, for the first time since was initiated nine years ago. The girls "won big" in the final with Coe-Brown, according to Athletic Director Mike Lee, after a semis victory over Nute. The boys defeated Moultonboro Academy 64-54, following wins against Interlake and Nute.

Meanwhile, scouts from U.N.H., Lowell University, Plymouth State, Keene, Brandeis, Bentley, and N.H. College, are all in favour of a new student for 1988/89. Talented both in the classroom and on the court, senior Mike Mucher is their man of the year.

A Good Man II

This time it's "Charlie Brown," the musical that Farmington Town Players are going to stage in April 1988. A most productive get-together with the director, Bob Tait of Rochester, and the steering committee took place last week. Among decisions made, was the dates set for auditions for the parts, and hope was expressed that folk from other towns would not be shy in coming forward to try out for a show that promises to be popular, professional and fun.

Four dates have been arranged: In Farmington Town Hall on 16th and 23rd of January from 1 until 3 p.m., and in School Street School on 17th and 24th January from 2 until 4 p.m. Call Bob Tait at 335-3544 for details, or Farmington Parks & Recreation Department on 755-2405.

Next Week: Electrical News and Hatwatch News.

"But you said that last week, and now it's this week. No wonder people can't believe a word they read in the newspapers."

Plus, as a special bonus, The Party Place News. Satisfied?

Jan. 5, 1988

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