Dixfield Wellness Center looks for new location

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PERU — Regional School Unit 56 directors Tuesday night asked the head of buildings and grounds to see if there’s space in the district to house the Wellness Center in Dixfield.

The district voted to close the former RSU 10 central office, which houses the center. The deadline to move is Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, a Wellness Center board has been working on a plan to keep it open.

Greg Buccina of Rumford and others on that board told directors Tuesday night that they had looked at ways to increase revenue and minimize costs.

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“We’re looking at grant opportunities. We’ve approached a lot of businesses in the area (for funding), we’ve looked at our hours, and we’ve increased our fees for everyone except for high school kids,” Buccina said.

Other efforts included Wellness Center manager Judy Horne’s attendance at the Dixfield selectmen meeting Monday night to request that $4,500 of the town’s cable franchise fees be applied toward the center.

Horne also asked that the center become part of the Dixfield recreation budget. Selectmen told Horne that the group’s request would not be considered until April.

“That (recreation budget) money is spent down to the penny year round,” RSU 56 director Barry Prescott of Dixfield told the Wellness Center board Tuesday night.

“It’s more than just the cost of maintaining the Wellness Center, it’s the cost of maintaining the building,” RSU 56 director Bruce Ross of Dixfield said. “The building costs about $112,000 to run it.”

Directors asked Kenny Robbins, director of buildings, grounds and transportation, to see if there is space in any of the district’s buildings to house the Wellness Center.

In other news, Dirigo Elementary School Principal Charles Swan said state Commissioner of Education Robert Hasson will visit Dirigo Elementary School on Wednesday.

“He’s specifically here for the kindergarten through grade three Momentum pilot that we’re a part of,” Swan said. “We’re one of the nine schools in the state. He’s going to meet with three of the teachers and question them about the pilot and he’s going to sit in on a few classes.”

In other business, the board acknowledged two new employees. Amity Beane was hired as a part-time gifted and talented teacher and Mason King as Technology Support for Dirigo Elementary School.

Beane taught Spanish at Dirigo High School 10 years ago. King is attending Central Maine Community College and plans to have his associate’s degree in computer science this winter. He is a 2011 Dirigo High School graduate.

mhutchinson@sunmediagroup.net

Dirigo High School in Dixfield.
Amity Beane was hired as a part-time Gifted and Talented teacher at the RSU 56 board meeting Tuesday night. Beane taught Spanish at Dirigo High School 10 years ago.
The RSU 56 board hired Mason King as technology support for Dirigo Elementary School. He is attending Central Maine Community College and plans to have his associate’s degree in computer science this winter. He is a 2011 Dirigo High School graduate.

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