Forum to address Mason students

MILFORD -The two big issues facing Milford schools this year – whether to let Mason students attend, and how best to handle a crowded middle school – will be the subject of a public forum Oct. 18.

The forum will take place two days before the state Board of Education will discuss the request by Mason to be allowed to withdraw from the Mascenic Regional School District.

Although nothing is certain about what will happen at that Oct. 20 meeting in Concord – partly because Mason’s request is the first time anybody has asked permission to leave a cooperative school district in New Hampshire – Superintendent of Schools Robert Suprenant said Monday that he expected the state Board of Education would rule on the request at that hearing.

Milford officials also expect that the state board will approve the request.

That doesn’t mean Mason will leave the district, however: The withdrawal must still get approval from voters in Mason, and voters in Milford must agree to let Mason students attend school in this town, on a tuition basis.

As far as handling the overcrowding, the board is likely to propose some type of expansion of new construction at the Heron Pond Elementary School and perhaps Jacques or Bales schools, so that fifth grade can move out of Milford Middle School.

The cost of any such proposal, perhaps around $3.5 million, will be made more palatable by the roughly $2.7 million that the school district is expected to receive in insurance fees from the fire that destroyed Garden Street School.