Pelham approves $9,000 for elementary school technology
The United Church of Christ Pelham, at the corner of Amherst and Meetinghouse Roads, held its last service in June. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Purchase photo reprints »
PELHAM — Amherst-Pelham Regional School District Superintendent Maria Geryk is looking to ensure that students at Pelham Elementary are exposed to as much technology as other students their age in the district.
She made headway Monday night when the Select Board approved $9,000 for technology upgrades for the school — out of Geryk’s total request of $31,200.
“I wish it could be more,” Select Board Chairwoman Linda Michaud said when she approved the motion.
The town pays for technology upgrades through its cable franchise account, which at the start of the meeting had $18,363 available.
Geryk, who was present at the board meeting along with Jerry Champagne, director of information systems for the school district, said she is aware that Pelham cannot afford the full amount and that she is grateful for the support she received.
She said she particularly would like to bring laptops into the elementary school classrooms so students will not have to move to labs to use computers. The cost for that would be $15,000 plus $1,500 for a laptop cart. Geryk told the board she will go back to the Pelham School Committee to see whether it will approve the balance of the funds necessary for them.
Options weighed for church
In other business, the board discussed possible uses for the building that held the United Church of Christ in Pelham, a 173-year-old church that closed in June. The building, owned by the UCC, is now on the market for $170,000.
Resident Thomas Lederle, who said the building represents a valuable piece of town history, spoke in favor of the town purchasing the building, and suggested holding interfaith services in the space. Another potential use would be town offices.
Board members said that with paint job the building needs and cost of heating, it might not be cost-effective to purchase it.
“It would be expensive to make that building usable,” Michaud said.
Michaud, a real estate agent for Jones Group Realtors — the firm that is handling the sale — noted that she will not participate in the final decision on the sale of building.
“Whatever you do to the building should be revenue-neutral,” Finance Committee Chairman John Trickey told the board Monday. “We don’t need another (building) that costs us money.”
The board also awarded a bid of $25,250 for the job of painting the Pelham Hill Church/Museum at 374 Amherst Road to Fox Painting in Arlington. The paint job is part of a $40,000 Community Preservation Act project to refurbish the church’s exterior, approved at the spring Town Meeting.