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NCUHS Could Get a Much Needed Facelift

January 16, 2012

Battered auditorium chairs and stained ceilings are just some of the items that need to be repaired to improve North Country High School. Photo by Christopher Roy

NEWPORT CITY – North Country Union High School, built in the late 1960s, has seen little changes, with the exception of a recent complete overhaul of the North Country Career Center. School officials are now turning their attention to other areas of the complex.
Last Wednesday, during a Business Operations Committee meeting, Principal Bill Rivard talked about remodeling plans. Part of the upcoming discussion will be if school officials want to phase the project in over several years.
The first phase would include working on the well-worn auditorium. The wish list includes extending the auditorium and making the restrooms and locker rooms in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The second phase would include making changes to the library and senior lounge area. The third phase would involve the science classrooms. The final phase would be making changes to the main office, guidance office, and teacher work area.
Problems with the elevators need to be addressed and the main entrance to the high school is not clearly marked, Rivard said. School officials want to create more office space and make the high school more welcoming to people entering the facility. 
Last year, the school underwent the New England Association of Schools and Colleges evaluation process. 
“One of the things they encouraged us to do is to take a look at the facility's improvement plan,” said Rivard. “The thing we’re waiting for is the actual cost estimate. I would expect to start to receive some of those cost estimates within the next couple of weeks.”
Once estimates come together, committees will start working on presenting the ideas to the community. Rivard hopes to gain approval next year. School officials will also look for financial assistance. 
Committee Chair Peter Moskovites stressed that the ideas right now are “strictly dawings, strictly pie in the sky” and no action has been taken.
Rivard said school officials will be looking for input. “I think it’s time we take a serious look at the A and B wings and really putting some energy to bringing some upgrades and modifications to those buildings,” Rivard said.
Nobody at the meeting knew how long the process would take.

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