RSU 73 superintendent makes suggestions for school buildings’ needs

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LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 73 Superintendent Kenneth Healey is recommending that the former Livermore Falls High and Middle schools be offered to the town — and if the town doesn’t want them, then sell them.

The board received his proposals at its meeting Thursday night and will discuss them at a future meeting.

Healey, who became superintendent on July 1, recently toured all school buildings in the Jay-Livermore-Livermore Falls district to assess needs and uses. He took the helm three years after the Jay School Department and SAD 36, comprised of Livermore and Livermore Falls, formed RSU 73 under the state’s school consolidation law.

The merger resulted in all high school and middle school students being educated in Jay at the renamed Spruce Mountain High School and Spruce Mountain Middle School.

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A section of the former Livermore Falls High School is still used by the Spruce Mountain Adult Education program, but much of it has moved or will soon move into the Cedar Street Central Office.

Healey recommended closing the school and offering it to the town. If the town doesn’t want it, he recommended that it be sold and the proceeds be given to RSU 73. If it is sold, the locker rooms used by school sports teams would likely no longer be available. He suggested constructing a smaller building on site near the ball field, which he said is the best in the district.

He also said the district should offer the former Livermore Falls Middle School, which is near the high school, to the town. If the town turns down the offer, the school should be put on the market and proceeds would be given to the district, he said.

Healey said he wants to explore funding that may be available to tear down the former middle school to build a parking lot.

Although state law requires a school district to offer a closed building to the town where it stands, Healey said he would also discuss the two buildings with Jay and Livermore.

Other recommendations from the superintendent include:

* Spruce Mountain High School: Look into replacing the elevator with one that better meets disability needs.

* Jay Elementary School: Replace the boiler and the roof, and either renovate or add on to the building.

He said that neither Spruce Mountain Middle School nor Livermore Elementary School are in need of work now.

Board Chairwoman Denise Rodzen said others may have different ideas than Healey.

“We need to know the costs,” she said. “When we consolidated, I believe the (former Livermore Falls High School) gym and locker rooms were to stay open. We’ll discuss this further at a later meeting.”

Board member Cindy Young suggested that a group be formed to raise money for future district projects.

Healey suggested such a group meet with the administration to discuss the district’s needs.

“There are so many unknowns; so much work is needed,” he said. “We need to meet first.”

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