JAY — The community building, school buildings, athletic fields, tennis courts and bus garage are proposed to change ownership if voters approve a plan to consolidate schools with Livermore and Livermore Falls.
The Jay School Department is part of a municipality, and the property designated for school use is currently owned by the town.
Jay School Superintendent Robert Wall told the regional school planning committee on Tuesday that there were challenges to carve out what would be transferred from Jay to a new system.
Regional School Unit 36, which includes Livermore and Livermore Falls, is its own entity and the property that belongs to that school district was established decades ago, Wall said. All of that property, including school buildings in Livermore and Livermore Falls, Cedar Street Learning Complex and athletic fields would transfer to a new regional system.
Jay town officials and school officials from both school systems met previously with legal counsel to develop the property proposal. Jay Town Manager Ruth Cushman told selectmen in September that the newly established plan is more beneficial to the town than the first one that was created for a prior school consolidation plan, which voters rejected in 2009.
Jay selectmen have not voted on the draft property proposal.
The plan comes with authorization for Jay to continue to use about 550 square feet of storage, in addition to the space used for voting and the 12 built-in voting booths in the community building.
When the Jay Middle School was built in 1996, it was connected to the town's community building. The gymnasium and cafeteria and the school's bakery are in that portion of the building.
In the event the new school system undertakes a renovation project for the community building, then the new system would need to provide the town with 550 square feet of storage, including fireproof vault, and a place to vote, Wall said. If the new school district has no use for the community building it will offer to transfer the building back to the town.
The Jay buildings that won't be transferred are the one that houses Jay Head Start and the former central office, and a double-wide modular that is now owned by Area Youth Sports. The organization leases the land the building is located on, Wall said. It will be up to the new school system if the AYS building would be allowed to stay there, he said.
All tangible property currently owned in both systems would be transferred to a new system. The staff's' personal property will not, Wall said.
The $5.6 million combined school buildings' debt from both systems, as of July 1, 2011, would also be transferred to a new district. That encompasses $3.5 million for Jay Middle School and $2.1 million for Livermore Elementary School.
Jay's recreation land behind the athletic fields would still be owned by the town. However, the land would remain accessible to schoolchildren's use, Cushman said.
Livermore Falls Recreation Field, owned by that town, would also remain open for school use because it's public property, Livermore Falls Town Manager Jim Chaousis said.
The regional planning committee will hold a third reading of the entire plan at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the Jay High School library. Members will hold a final vote on it at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the same place. It would then go to the school boards, and then on to the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.
A vote on the plan will be held in the three towns on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011.