Quenten Clark believes a database being compiled showing when systems and other parts of school buildings need to be replaced is a good thing, particularly for larger districts.

The superintendent’s district, SAD 58 in Kingfield, did that about nine years, soon after the state mandated that all districts get buildings assessed and logged into a database.

SAD 58 didn’t get into the database, but it used data compiled by SMRT Architects of Portland to systematically renovate the district’s four elementary schools and Mt. Abram High School. He said the architectural firm estimated between $5 million and $6 million in repairs and renovations were needed then. The district worked with Bunker and Savage of Augusta to get some of the upgrades done.

“We’ve done most of the recommended upgrades,” he said, adding that very few districts got such information on a database.

He believes larger districts might benefit from putting similar information on a database because of the greater number of schools and systems within each school.

SAD 9 in Farmington did a similar thing at about the same time, and also did not get the information placed on a statewide database.

Superintendent Michael Cormier used Ames Corp. of Bangor to assess his district’s facilities. He isn’t sure of the total dollar amount of needed repairs and renovations, but he did say the data was useful when the district began making a case for major renovation projects at Mt. Blue High School, the attached Foster Vocational School, and Mallett elementary school in Farmington.

“We also used it to plan budgets. It was scary, but useful,” he said. “Taxes are tough to come by.”

The information gathered by Ames Corp. was used for a tentatively planned estimated $30 million renovation to Mt. Blue High School and Foster Vocational School, and an estimated $20 million renovation or replacement of Mallett Elementary School.

David Leavitt, buildings and grounds director at SAD 9, said many of the recommendations, such as roof replacements, asbestos abatement, and heating and electrical upgrades, were completed, somewhat based on the data collected.

The district maintains six elementary schools, a high school, and a middle school.

Last week, a state-hired facilities engineer, Michael McCormick, told the SAD 43 board in Rumford that its six buildings need about $18 million in renovations and repairs. That data is on the state database, and the dollar amount is about average for most school districts, said McCormick.

Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said the district has a 10-year master plan for building maintenance. Some of the recommendations had already been completed prior to McCormick’s assessment last spring. Some of the others will be done later.

SAD 43’s high school, like so many around the state, including Mt. Abram, Mt. Blue and Telstar in Bethel, was built at about the same time, in 1968 or 1969. Because of their age, most need replacement systems or serious updating.

McCormick will make similar presentations to SAD 44, Bethel, and SAD 21, Dixfield, in January, according to the superintendents.

David Murphy, SAD 44 superintendent, said he realizes some of the three elementary schools and Telstar Middle and High School need work, particularly the high school, which needs significant energy efficiency work.

He said a building renovation account was set up last year to begin addressing the needs

He said he hasn’t received the dollar figure McCormick will cite.

At SAD 21, Superintendent Tom Ward said he believes his district’s schools are in good shape because of the recent major renovation and addition project at Dirigo High School and the elementary school being built in Peru.

“If there are any issues, it would be at the middle school,” he said.

He also does not know the figure McComick will bring to the school board in January.


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