FARMINGTON — High school students will receive 11- by 17-inch, two-sided maps on the first day of school to help them navigate their way around the new Mt. Blue Campus.

They’ll need them.

The $64 million renovation project at Mt. Blue High School and Foster Career and Technical Education Center is nearly complete. It will be ready when students return to school during the last week of August, high school Principal Monique Poulin said Tuesday during a school board tour of the campus.

Directors toured the renovated three-story classroom wing that was initially part of the high school. It will open with a new entryway, a new glassed-in main office and surveillance cameras encased in the ceilings of the hallways.

Once the doors are locked when school begins, visitors will need to be buzzed in.

There is a new music room, weight room and a trainer room, among other new spaces.


Academic classrooms are intermingled with career and technical education classrooms throughout the building. The Franklin Savings Bank school-based branch has been moved to the first floor from the third floor. The elevator is in a new place as are the nurses’ stations and assistant principals’ offices. The principal and Foster director offices are centered in the building, as they were last year.

The project includes lights on sensors that automatically go on when someone enters a room or off when it is empty. The hallways are the same.

Having the lights on sensors is one of the energy-saving features in the project David Leavitt, RSU 9 director of support services, told board members. The project is LED certified.

New technology will also allow exterior entrances and exits to be monitored when a door is open or propped open, he said.

The three-story wing is air conditioned, with the cool air provided through the geothermal systems, Leavitt said. Each room has its own air ventilation system.

Most of the rooms in the three-story wing have new furniture, except for eight or nine, which have the best of the old furniture,he said.


The auditorium, also known as the performing arts center, is still undergoing renovation. The 500 new seats have been installed and the stage is nearly done.

They are way ahead of schedule on the latter, Superintendent Tom Ward said.

Artwork will be installed above the entryway just prior to school opening. In Maine, the construction or renovation of buildings funded through taxpayer dollars requires 1 percent of the construction appropriation (with a cap of $50,000 for K-12 schools) be appropriated for acquiring works of art.

Jake Williams, an incoming junior at the school and a student representative on the school board, said, “It will be a struggle to find the classrooms” as he toured the campus.

The library that opened last year has been stripped of flooring and adhesive as have the main portion of the principal’s and directors’ office. The individual offices were not affected because there was different flooring in those. There had been carpet on the floors in those areas and a strong obnoxious odor developed beginning about Christmas, Leavitt said.

Extensive tests have been conducted and there are no health risks, Ward and Leavitt said.


It has to do with the adhesive or the carpet.

Until it is discovered what caused the odor, no flooring will be put down, both said.

The air ventilation system in the affected areas were run constantly last year to help keep the air moving, Leavitt said.

The lawyers are trying to decide who is responsible for the problem, Project Manager John Moynihan of Wright-Ryan Construction said.

There is carpet in different areas in the buildings but no other areas have been affected, Leavitt said.

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