RSU 58 sets hearing on financing building projects

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PHILLIPS — A public hearing on financing $1.2 million in building improvements for Regional School Unit 58 will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at Kingfield Elementary School.

Residents of Strong, Avon, Phillips and Kingfield will go to polling stations in their towns Tuesday, April 25, to vote on issuing bonds or notes for the projects. 

The hearing Thursday will offer taxpayers of those towns an opportunity to learn about replacing the elevator at Phillips Elementary School and upgrading the cafeteria’s fire suppression and antiquated exhaust system at Mt. Abram High School in Strong.

The Phillips school is required to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards by improving access to bathrooms and school exits and entrances.

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Schools could be closed if the state-mandated upgrades and repairs are not done, Superintendent Susan Pratt said.

In February, the school board approved borrowing from the Maine Department of Education’s School Revolving Renovation Fund.

“This is funded through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank,” Pratt said. “The money is there, and if we don’t apply for it, another district will get it.”

Pratt said the district would pay 47 percent of the loan and the state will pay the rest.

The work has to be completed within two years after the project is approved, Pratt said.

The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ Bureau of General Services would provide engineering expertise, technical reviews and bidding and contract assistance.

The district’s 10-year repayment plan is estimated at $57,000 each year with no interest, according to Pratt.

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