PARIS – The SAD 17 board approved the purchase of 16 acres of land on High Street in Paris for the proposed elementary school Monday.

The proposed site is near the Maine Veterans Home between Hathaway Road and Meadow Way.

Superintendent Mark Eastman said the asking price for the property is $210,000 as listed with Biz Realty.

He said the state will pay up to the appraised value of the property, which was listed during the past month as $130,000.

He said any differences in price must be made up for using local funds. However, he added that amount the state is willing to pay may be negotiable and that the figures released to the board are preliminary.

Eastman said the site committee had reviewed 19 possible locations and this was rated as the best.

It was also at the top of the engineer’s list.

He said the property has been for rent for about five years.

Eastman said the site had all the non-negotiable items required by the state including: public water and sewer, three-phase power and the land has less than a 3 percent grade.

“The zero to 3 percent grade keeps down what could be costly site development costs,” Eastman said. “It also has the type of soils that are conducive to development.”

Eastman also announced that Oxford Hills Middle School Principal Hal Small wants to form a task force/ad hoc committee of staff members, community members and some school board representatives to take a look at options for changing programming in applied technology area.

Eastman said he would like to see how new programming might fit together to meet needs of alternative learning kids and the school populace in general.

The applied technology area is work demanding hand skills such as woodworking, robotics and mechanics.

He said he would recommend that the committee be created this fall and create suggestions for the 2004-05 school year.

The board also approved renewing the contract with the Paris Police Department for a school resource officer, which puts a patrolman on duty at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The agreed upon cost included in this year’s budget is $30,000.

The board also learned that Sharon Castonguay, Donna Kennison and Laurie Huff, teachers at the Madison Avenue School in Oxford, had been selected as winners in the National Semiconductor innovative Idea Grants program.

The program was developed to reward teachers who have great ideas of integrating Internet technology into curricula.

The winning project was “Why Do We Need Government? What Are its Parts? And How Does it Work in Our Community, State and Nation?”

The teachers will receive $7,700 for the project and on site consultation worth up to $4,000 from an expert to assist in the development of the project.

The summary of the winning project is posted on the National Semiconductor Internet Awards Web site at

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