Future of RSU 10 buildings topic of hearings

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DIXFIELD — Goals approved by the Regional School Unit 10 board Monday night could bring major changes in the coming school year.

One of the goals is to cost-effectively provide and maintain adequate buildings for students, which could mean closing or restructuring several of the 11 district buildings. The district has about 2,600 students.

Superintendent Craig King said three public forums will begin in January to provide information to residents and get their comments on the use of buildings and any changes that may take place.

A Buildings and Grounds Committee, along with an architect, have been studying each building since early autumn.

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Other goals approved include maintaining a strong focus on teaching and learning, maintaining a high degree of communication with parents and the community and raising and spending financial resources at a reasonable and necessary level to ensure students have high-quality programming and highly-skilled personnel.

Three additional public forums will be held on the long-term budget goals of the district. The first budget meeting is set for Jan. 12 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield.

Also Monday, the board heard a report from nutrition director Jeanne Lapointe and Buildings and Grounds director Ken Robbins on the new method to provide lunches to students.

The 2014-15 budget reduced the number of production kitchens to three, and several nutrition workers were either laid off or had their hours reduced.

The three production kitchens are located at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico and Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Robbins spoke of the difficulty of transporting meals to the schools.

“It’s hard to be efficient with so many schools,” King said.

The district includes the towns of Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Dixfield, Peru, Canton, Carthage, Rumford, Mexico, Byron, Roxbury and Hanover.

There were questions about whether additional nutrition workers should be hired or hours increased.

The board also entered into a closed session to discuss negotiations for educational technicians.

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