RSU 73 board advised of $5.87 million in building improvements

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JAY — A $5.87 million proposal to upgrade Regional School Unit 73 buildings was presented to directors Thursday night by Building & Grounds Committee Chairman Doug DiPasquale.

The most money, $3.05 million, would go to Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay for a new roof, two new boilers, a new electrical distribution system, new energy-efficient lighting, and a new entrance for better security.

Some residents have suggested closing the school and moving the students to another building, but DiPasquale said there isn’t enough room in the other buildings.

Other building improvements include:

• Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay: new lighting, new hot water pumps, a new roof, and cleaning up of the Community Room;

• Spruce Mountain High School in Jay: new lighting, boiler room upgrades, door replacements and new windows; 

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• Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore: new lighting, new air handlers and hot water pumps, and replacing one quarter of the roof; and

• Central Office in Livermore Falls, new lighting and upgrades to automation systems.

Board Chairperson Denise Rodzen said the projects need to be done to save energy costs and improve safety.

RSU 73 Special Services Director Tina Collins said changes in federal funds mean RSU 73 is getting less money. Over several budget cycles, Collins said, federal money used to pay for program increases. Those funds are gone, she said.

Also, Collins said, carryover funds from grants are gone. She said RSU 73 will learn in June what it will receive for grants for special services.

“We are estimating we will need to use about 55 percent of the grant funds to fund staffing,” she said.

A new behavioral program for second grade students will cost about $183,000. Collins said the program was developed at the recommendation of principals, in hopes of curbing behavioral problems.

RSU 73 has a behavioral program for grades 6-12, which will continue. The new program would have 10 to 12 students, with one special education teacher and two educational technicians.

Collins said they will receive part-time assistance from a district social worker, as well as some contracted services.

If the program is approved in the school budget, students would be housed at Spruce Mountain Elementary School.

bmatulaitis@sunmediagroup.net

RSU 73 Superintendent’s Office. (File photo)

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