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Gill Elementary to get bigger parking lot

GILL — Responding to the concerns of Gill Elementary School staff and other users of the school’s cramped lower parking lot, the town has expanded the scope of its repaving project.

Highway Superintendent Mitchell LaClaire Sr. asked the Selectboard for authority to increase the parking lot surface area at an additional cost of about $4,000.

LaClaire said the change was the result of the complaints raised at town meeting, where residents approved spending for the project with protests from parking lot users that the school had not been consulted and the lot is small enough to cause frequent fender-benders as drivers attempt to leave.

The new layout will expand the lot 10 feet back into the hill, stretching it to 60 feet and decreasing the number of parking spaces from 24 to 23 due to the slope.

LaClaire said he thinks the extension can be completed with the money previously allocated for the repaving project and money in his budget.

A guardrail installed by the school along one edge, and also the object of complaint, will not be touched by the town.

The board authorized Town Administrative Assistant Ray Purington to sign the necessary paperwork to put the project out to bid.

Principal Kathleen Adams has planned a forum to discuss parking and traffic patterns for Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the school.

Purington said officials will do their best to incorporate whatever comes out of the forum, but needs to get the ball rolling immediately to make bid posting deadlines and complete work before school resumes.

Selectboard member Randy Crochier said he plans to attend.

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