Planning Board holds public hearing on school renovation project

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FARMINGTON — The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on plans for the proposed Mt. Blue High School and Foster Technology Center addition/renovation Monday starting at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

It’s an opportunity for the public to make comments and suggestions about the plan, said Steve Kaiser, the town’s code enforcement officer.

Initial plans for a large campus that will integrate Mt. Blue High School and Foster Technology Center into learning communities was presented to the board nearly a year ago. Since then a second review was held and RSU 9 has provided a lot of information about the plan that voters in the school district’s nine towns approved last fall, he said.

The hearing, held as part of the Planning Board’s review of the site application, is an opportunity to see what people think, Kaiser said. Someone may have a thought or concern that hasn’t been brought up.

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“The engineer consultants still want public comments as they tweak details,” he said.

The three-year, $63.5-million project begins in September, creating a state-of-the-art facility and state model, the new Mt. Blue Learning Campus. With $60 million provided by the state and the local share set at $3.5 million, the project includes enlarging the 40-year-old school, creating a new 500-seat auditorium, new library, five new athletic fields, including tennis courts, increased parking and providing town water and sewer for the school.

The board could approve the application following the hearing or may decide to walk around the proposed site as is often done with other applications, he said.

In other business, the Planning Board will review an application from the University of Maine at Farmington to enlarge the Perkins Street parking area by 32 spaces, Kaiser said.

The plan for the expanded parking area, mainly for resident students, was created from three former lots where two older homes have been razed and a third home on Quebec Street will be razed after permits are received.

The plan includes keeping entrances on Maquire and Quebec streets but closing those from Perkins Street. The University plans to construct the new lot this summer in preparation for students returning for the fall semester.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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