RSU 73 residents approve $1.8 million construction project


LIVERMORE FALLS — Residents of the three towns in RSU 73 passed a $1.8 million building project Tuesday by an unofficial vote of 449-331.

The school district plans to revamp spaces at Jay high and middle schools and the Jay Community Building so all Spruce Mountain High School students can attend classes there in late summer.

“We’re very pleased with the support from the community and look forward to moving on with this project,” Superintendent Robert Wall said Tuesday night.

Town clerks in Livermore, Jay and Livermore Falls said voter turnout was very low. Livermore residents voted 106-90; Livermore Falls, 91-79; and Jay, 252-162.

The school board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, to validate the vote. Advertisements will go out for an architect next week.

Last week, Wall said the state’s Quality Schools Construction Bond program had authorized a $745,238 loan for the work. The rest of the money will likely be borrowed from the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, he said.

Plans are to close the academic wing of the former Livermore Falls High School on June 30, while retaining use of the gym, stage and other nonacademic sections for other purposes, including relocating the RSU 73 Adult and Community Education program from the Jay Community Building.

Renovations include changing two or three of the large classrooms at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay into six or seven classrooms, creating another classroom from part of the weight room, and enlarging the cafeteria. Also planned are creating classrooms in a section of the middle school closest to the high school for high school students, building a connector between the high and middle schools, and renovating a large section of the Jay Community Building for classrooms, bathrooms, offices and storage spaces for use primarily by middle school students.