Dr. David Ryan, Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833
For Immediate Release
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Cooperative Middle School Building Project Spotlight On: Elevators
EXETER — In an effort to provide residents with all relevant information surrounding the Cooperative Middle School building project, Superintendent David Ryan is sharing the details of each component through the district’s spotlight series.
Each week, SAU 16 will delve into topics surrounding the proposed expansion and renovation project at CMS. In this feature story, SAU 16 seeks to educate its community members about the need for an additional elevator.
There is currently one elevator for the entire staff and student population at CMS, which is located in the back of the building, more than 400 feet from the outside curb — which is greater than the length of a football ﬁeld — and 900 feet from the farthest classroom.
This creates a challenge for students with physical disabilities and other members of the school community who are injured or on crutches. The current layout requires those who need to use the elevator to travel from the parking lot, approximately 135 feet to the front vestibule of the school and then another 360 feet to the elevator located on the opposite side of the school entrance.
By operating a building with only one elevator, it also presents extreme challenges when it is out of service. If the elevator is not able to be used for a short period of time, a student whose classes are on the second floor received a modified schedule so that only first floor access is needed. If the duration needed for repairs is longer, teachers must swap classrooms.
Additionally, there are more than 25 teachers who travel with mobile classrooms and library carts throughout the day. This creates a long queue at the elevator, which translates to lost classroom time every day. If the elevator is out of service, teachers are forced to carry their carts up and down flights of stairs.
“Our students, faculty and staff, especially those with mobility challenges, have felt the burden of traveling almost the entire length of the school to access the elevator,” Superintendent Ryan said. “We hope to build an additional elevator at the front of the school so that everyone can most effectively travel throughout the building without the fear of being late to class or injuring themselves if forced to use the stairs.”
The proposed project adds a second elevator that would be just over 100 feet down the corridor from the front vestibule, a distance much more manageable for those who need it.
With this addition, CMS will have two elevators conveniently available from all locations in the building. This will alleviate the congestion between classes while ensuring there is always a way to move between floors if one is out of service. It would also provide an appropriate remedy for the many challenges presented when any person, student or otherwise, living with a physical disability requires access to an elevator.
Voters will be asked to consider the $17.8 million project to improve services for students, faculty and staff on March 12. All six towns that make up CMS — Brentwood, East Kingston, Exeter, Kensington, Newfields and Stratham collectively must pass the ballot item with at least 60 percent voting in favor for the initiative to move forward.