Changes unveiled for one Spruce Mountain High School site

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LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board unveiled a proposal Tuesday night for nearly $1.7 million in renovations for portions of Spruce Mountain High School and Spruce Mountain Middle School, both in Jay, and the Jay Community Building.

The proposal, which can be changed, will go before residents of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28, at the middle school.

The renovations are needed to accommodate all 500-plus high school students at in Jay and Livermore Falls campuses by next fall.

The design was created by Bunker and Savage of Augusta using input from several board-led task forces.

As presented by Superintendent Robert Wall, a total of about 16 classroom, office and other spaces would be created.

He said a final plan must be submitted to the state by Dec. 15 if the district is to be considered for full or partial funding at little or no interest. If state money doesn’t provide any monetary assistance, he said the district would search for a low-interest loan.

Among the changes proposed are:

* High school: Covert two classrooms into three smaller classrooms on the first floor of the academic wing; convert two large classrooms into four classrooms on the second floor; convert a storage/workroom in the library into an office and conference room; move the weight room in the gymnasium area; reconfigure a section of the area near the principal’s office, which would also be restructured, into a classroom and a consulting room.

* Middle school: Use several classrooms for high school students.

* Community Building: Create several new classrooms, storage spaces and offices; reduce the size of the voting area used by the town; replace some windows.

Included in the renovations are new or updated handicapped accessible bathrooms, and handrails and guardrails, and energy efficient lighting.

The largest expense, at an estimated $427,600, would be the work to the Community Building.

Several teachers expressed concerns about some of the changes. Librarian Suzanne Cole said the loss of library space while doubling the number of the students could adversely affect her program. Anne Weatherbee, the drama teacher, said she is concerned that insufficient space was included to accommodate the technical theater class, and the stage has no wings for sets and other materials required in productions.

Weatherbee was advised to present her concerns in writing for the board to review.

Teacher Ken Landry wanted to know whether staff would have input into the proposed plan.

A tour of the three buildings to show board members the areas proposed for change will take place at 4:30 p.m. before the Nov. 28 public hearing.

Wall said much of the loan cost would be offset by closing the Livermore Falls high school campus.

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