M. Keim: Auburn school idea a bad one

Two new schools in Auburn at a cost of $100 million? I think not.

The Sun Journal reported that Portland’s Eastland Hotel is being remodeled, gutting all 12 stories, for less than $40 million. And back in 2011, it was reported in the Portland Press Herald that Falmouth built a new green school for 877 students for $37.7 million. The state funded 84 percent of that school ($31.7 million).

I supported giving all students a free breakfast, but $100 million for two schools does not make any sense after reading the two articles I have referenced above.

There is no question that Auburn's high school needs attention, but Auburn's property owners shouldn't be the sole source of funds. Doesn’t Auburn have some of the highest property taxes in Maine? With the potential loss of the homestead exception, I heard taxes could rise by as much as 14 percent. I did not get a 14 percent raise this year. I am already working 60 hours a week with two jobs to make ends meet when I should be looking at retirement.

I really do not have an answer, but shouldn’t Auburn officials look for the state to help with funding, as it did in Falmouth?

And no one wants to visit the joining of Lewiston and Auburn, but with the increased cost of running things, the unemployment rate and slow economy, maybe it is time for a joint school system and municipal services to relieve the property owners in both cities

Martin Keim, Auburn

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ERNEST LABBE's picture

What does the

What does the design of the building or the cost of the extravagent building have to do with learning? I am one of the few thet attended both the old ELHS and the new Taj Mahal on the hill (this was 1961 and 62). I don't believe the brand new bigger building on the hill did anything to improve my learning. Given the there was a need for a bigger school as there is now.

Wouldn't students learn as much in a tent as they do in a multi million dollar building? The key factor in learning is the teachers not the building they are working in. Perhaps every school department in the state should get out of the we hav to keep up with the Jones' thinking and pay attention to the things that really matter.

MARK GRAVE's picture

" Doesn’t Auburn have some of

" Doesn’t Auburn have some of the highest property taxes in Maine? "

Maine has some of the highest taxes in the country and sparse job opportunities; No wonder our children leave the state.

How many years have to pass before Maine state and local governments figure it out?

Bruce Hixon's picture


What would your solution be Mark? It's a bit of a convoluted problem

MARK GRAVE's picture

Economy of scale – build only

Economy of scale – build only one school for the greater LA region, basic, zero bells and whistles.

Moreover, Maine has more non-teaching staff than teachers. Cut non-teacher staff to 25% of teachers.

There are two solutions to cut cost.

It is only a convolved problem unless you make it so.


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