LIVERMORE FALLS — RSU 73 staff and students will experience many changes when the school year starts on Wednesday — it’s the first year that all secondary students will attend the same campus, and there will be an infusion of student assistance through the services of about 35 AmeriCorps members.

Contractors have been working all summer to renovate Jay’s Spruce Mountain middle and high schools, as well as a portion of the Jay Community Center, to make room for all 500 or so high school students from both the North and South campuses. The South Campus of SMHS has been closed to secondary students and is being used by the Adult and Community Education program, among other things.

Superintendent Robert Wall said that nearly all of the $1.8 million renovation project will be completed when students return to class on Wednesday.

That means that new classrooms, offices, bathrooms and other spaces have been added to the former basement of the Community Center, and space has been rearranged and enlarged at the middle and high schools. All high school space is near the main building, and some of the middle school classrooms are now in the Community Center.

SMHS Principal T.J. Plourde has invited students, parents and community members to an opening day barbecue and tour at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday.

The district recently learned that it will receive just over $700,000 a year in services from AmeriCorps members for the next three years.

The full-time Americorps coordinator, Eleni Margaronis, will split her time between SMHS and Carrabec High School, and will be the liaison between the schools and their respective communities. Two half-time AmeriCorps members, and more than 30 part-time members will serve RSU 73 high school students through one-on-one tutoring and working with families, as well as a variety of other services for students and the community.

A major focus for this year at the high school is a change in culture because of the blending of the two student bodies. AmeriCorps members will assist with this process.

When school begins, the district will have about 263 employees and just under 1,650 elementary, middle and high school students.

The bus schedule has changed slightly for Livermore Elementary School students. Children will arrive at 7:50 a.m. and depart about 2:50 p.m., which is twenty minutes earlier and later than the buses scheduled for Jay Elementary School, SMMS and SMHS.

Other changes include:

*Increased lunch and breakfast costs;

*Greater emphasis on bullying prevention and the reporting of any related incidents;

*At least a dozen new staff members;

*Graduation changes for this year’s freshmen and sophomores to include a standards-based diploma;

*An exploration of the possibility of restructuring the two elementary schools;

*Development of a plan to transform a portion of the former SMHS South Campus into a community center; and

*Exploration of possible alternative uses for the former Livermore Falls Middle School.