MINOT – The School Committee has approved concept plans for reconfiguring the administrative space at the Minot Consolidated School.

It also agreed to build the proposed water treatment building near or over the wellhead located about 100 feet from the school building.

Voters at March town meeting allocated $20,000 for office renovations in order to give personnel in the administrative offices direct monitoring and control over who enters the building.

According to plans presented by Principal Don Bilodeau, the front office redesign essentially consists of swapping space for the teachers’ room with the secretary and principal’s offices. Electronically locked doors will be controlled from the offices and the columned porch area will be enclosed to serve as a lobby/waiting area for the public.

Bilodeau said the addition to house the proposed water treatment plant could be built next to the enclosed entry area, between it and the original 1952 wing of the school, but that would compromise the building’s architectural lines.

Selectman Steve French, who is also the deputy director of the Mechanic Falls Water Department, questioned the wisdom of attaching the water treatment facility to the school building. One of the functions of the treatment plant is the removal of radon gas. The well water will be aerated and the gas dispersed by way of a vent pipe. French suggested that while it might not be a big deal, it could be wise to let the gas disperse as far away from the school as possible.

Union 29 Director of Operations Gordon Murray said that while adding directly onto the school building might be cheaper in the short run, it might prove to be no bargain in the long run because it would take away the option of adding onto or altering more significantly the entrance area of the school.

The building will be about 10 by 20 feet. Murray said state funding for the water treatment equipment and building to house it, totaling $55,000, is secured.

In other business, the committee voted to adopt a trimester grading schedule and a school calendar for 2004-05 that reflects trimester scheduling.

Superintendent Nina Schlikin was given authority to issue “intent to hire” letters to candidates for professional positions. The committee will continue to have the final say on new hires.

Committee members Larry Bates and Colleen Quint were named to the newly-created building renovation committee. The committee will include representatives from the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen and the public. It is charged with developing a plan to for more space for certain activities at the Minot Consolidated School.


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