LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 36 directors will hold a public hearing Thursday on the proposed closing of the Livermore Falls Middle School.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m., April 28, at the Central Office complex on Cedar Street in Livermore Falls. Livermore and Livermore Falls residents will have a chance to vote on the closing during a referendum vote on Tuesday, May 10. The polls will be open in Livermore from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office, and in Livermore Falls from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. also at the town office.

RSU 36 Superintendent Sue Pratt told the school board in March that the total savings in closing the school is estimated to be $578,434.65.

If Livermore and Livermore Falls voters reject closing the school, taxpayers in both towns will be responsible for paying the $578,434.65 difference along with paying for a share of Jay Middle School.

If the majority of voters in both Livermore and Livermore Falls vote to close the school next month, then sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders would attend Jay Middle School, about 2 miles away.

Voters in all three towns voted to consolidate school systems in January effective July 1.

If they don’t vote to close the school, then the school remains open, Pratt said previously.

RSU 36 directors voted on Feb. 7 to close the Livermore Falls school due to lack of need.

The savings estimate does not include teachers’ salaries, transportation or other factors.

According to an analysis done by Pratt, $1.03 million was spent on instruction in 2009-10, the base year.

“Most of those costs would still be needed should the students transfer to another school,” she wrote. “Actual projected savings for instruction would be $122,911.05. The cost of administration would be a savings as would the staff for maintenance of the plant, which would include employee wages and benefits, $264,166.43.”

Closing the kitchen at the school would result in savings for the hot lunch program of $42,906.61, she said.

Under the cost analysis section for transportation, Pratt wrote that if middle school students went to Jay, new bus routes would be established to minimize the additional transportation.

It is projected that an additional 1,400 miles per bus will occur for about four additional buses or 5,600 miles per year, Pratt wrote.

Reductions in extra-curricular trips will occur with about one-third the cost for these trips. The annual school day busing will cost approximately $18,236, which is factored at $3.26 per mile multiplied by 5,600 miles per year, she wrote.

The $18,236 is the net added cost for busing.

The rationale for closing the building is it is unnecessary and unprofitable to maintain, Pratt wrote.

Both declining enrollment and the antiquated facility with drastic health and safety issues warrant the closing of the school, she said.

“This coupled with the (Americans with Disabilities Act) issues related to a facility built in 1916 make this a building that is far from meeting current code and safety requirements,” Pratt wrote, “The building heat, electrical, and ventilation systems are far from reaching safety codes that exist today.”

In addition, the educational program space does not meet sound education requirements and is especially troubling for handicapped individuals, she wrote.

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