Article published Dec 6, 2006 The Citizen

Gale School receives an early present


Christmas has come early for the 1894 Gale School.


EPTAM Plastics has made a sizeable donation of Lexan window coverings for use at the school.


In a telephone interview, Hali Dearborn of EPTAM Plastics said the donation was the result of an internal initiative, prompted by news that the Save Our Gale School Committee was seeking donations of protective window coverings for the historic school.


The window coverings were suggested by the Belmont Fire Department, which asked that the school's wooden shutters be removed in order to better monitor the structure for smoke in the event of a fire.


Removing the shutters would have exposed the glass windows beneath to damage from harsh winter weather and would have left the glass vulnerable to vandalism.


Dearborn, who is a resident of Belmont, said she is in favor of saving the Gale School. Partly due to her suggestion, EPTAM Plastics made a company decision to donate $800, or half the total cost of the Lexan window coverings, for the Gale School.


The Shaker Regional School District was able to match that $800 donation, effectively funding the entire project.


Lexan is a brand of highly durable, polycarbonate resin thermoplastic intended to replace glass. Unlike glass, Lexan is often described as "bulletproof" and it is commonly used in the aerospace industry for items such as aircraft canopies and windshields.


Save Our Gale School Committee Chair Diane Marden said she is extremely pleased with the donation, noting that the Lexan coverings will add to the safety and integrity of the structure while preserving its historical attributes.


EPTAM Plastics, located in Northfield, is in the business of plastic machining and fabrication. Founded in Gilford in 1981 by Richard Dearborn and three employees, the company currently employs more than 85 workers. In 1999 EPTAM Plastics was named the GE Power Systems Top Supplier.