Public hearing set on Jay high school building project

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JAY — A public hearing on a proposed $1.8 million renovation project for Spruce Mountain High School in Jay will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the cafeteria of Spruce Mountain Middle School.

Voters will decide whether to approve the project at a referendum in Livermore, Jay and Livermore Falls on Jan. 15.

The project, designed by Bunker and Savage of Augusta, is to provide space for all 500 high school students in Regional School Unit 73. The students are housed at the former Jay and Livermore Falls high schools, because when the district was formed, neither site had enough space for all of them.

The plan is to have all the students at one site by next fall.

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Voters had previously turned down a proposal to construct a $5.3 million addition to the Jay high school to house all high schoolers.

Proposed are major changes to the nearby Jay Community Building that would provide several new classrooms, offices and bathrooms. At the high school, two large classrooms would be restructured into four, and two other classrooms would be made into three. The main office would be reconfigured, as would a portion of the library. A security office would be built across from the main office.

Also, a wall in the cafeteria would be replaced with a movable partition to accommodate more students during lunchtime.

Several rooms in the adjacent middle school would be used by high school students. A new entrance to the school would also be built.

Throughout the project, new and existing bathrooms would be handicap accessible. Electrical upgrades and technological improvements are planned.

The project, if approved, would be funded through a 20-year, low- or no-interest bond.

Residents of the former Jay School Department and RSU 36 in Livermore Falls voted to merge the two districts in 2011, with the understanding that the Livermore Falls High School would be closed.

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