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Glimpse at possible RSU 10 future
RUMFORD -- Replacing the floor at the DeFoe Gym at Dirigo High School, applying for a new elementary school and having a centralized bus garage were among the items discussed by the RSU 10 Board of Directors during a workshop session on April 2.
No action was taken, but the plan will be revisited and possibly updated in the future.
The plan assures that each of the three regions in the district -- Rumford, Dixfield and Buckfield -- will maintain a high school.
Depending on student population in each region, those three schools could include grades nine to 12, eight to 12, seven to 12 or six to 12.
One of the discussion points involved moving eighth grade from Mountain Valley Middle School to the Mountain Valley High School.
Supt. Tom Ward said there is unused space at the high school, which is why they're trying to convince UMA to go there. Moving the eighth grade might create unused space issues at the middle school.
Another point is removing the leased portables from the Dirigo Middle School. The leases, at $18,000 a year, are about to expire. The plan would be to move one of the double portables owned by RSU 10 at MVMS to the Dirigo Middle School.
As far as closing the remaining two portables at MVMS, Principal Ryan Casey that would mean having to share space in the building. "We just don't have enough classrooms."
Also proposed is a state bond for $220,000 to replace the gym floor at Dirigo High School. "The dead spots are increasing," noted Ward, adding that is a home court advantage. Also, borrowing from the state’s revolving loan fund to repair the roof and replacing the cafeteria floor at MVMS, although it's not an emergency situation. Ward said the state will not accept revolving loan applications until 2015.
The plan also proposes that the district will submit an application for a new state-funded elementary school for prekindergarten to grade five students in the Rumford-Mexico region. It would eventually replace Rumford and Meroby elementary schools. Ward said an alternative would be to make major renovations at Meroby in Mexico.
He said the state is not accepting applications for new schools for a year or two, and it will be more than a year from making the revolving loan fund available. The loan fund, which can't exceed $1 million, would give priority to schools is issues like air quality, asbestos or water infiltration.
"But you need to have a plan when they start taking applications," noted Ward. He said the application should be submitted in 2014 in order for the new school to be built in approximately 10 years.
Another major proposal included a new site or building to house all buses in the district.
Ward said one way to receive state funding for the project would be to join with Vocational Region 9 and build the facility on its property in Mexico. The state does not fund bus garages, but there might be assistance available if a new bus garage could also allow Region 9 to offer a vocational program in diesel mechanics.
Currently, buses are housed in each of the three regions. "We need a central location for our bus garage and our maintenance," said Ward.
Also in the plan is the assurance that elementary students will not be moved from one town to another, particularly those attending Canton Elementary School, as was suggested a few months ago.
Ward said if a child lives closer to a school in a different region than the school he or she currently attends, parents may request that the child be moved to that school.
In the plan is the assurance that elementary students will not be moved from one town to another, particularly those attending Canton Elementary School, as was suggested a few months ago. Ward said if a child lives closer to a school in a different region than the school he or she currently attends, parents may request that the child be moved to that school.
Other long-term proposals include switching to natural gas if it becomes available to the area. Ward estimated a savings of between $200,000 and $300,000 if the change was made. "I believe that project is on the low end."
After completing the list, Director Barbara Chow noted, "Basically, there's not a think we can do this year."
Ward responded, "But you can get the information ready to apply."