LIVERMORE FALLS — The third and possibly final budget workshop for the RSU 73 board will focus mostly on the future of the former Livermore Falls High School.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at the Cedar Street central office.

At issue is whether to continue to use a portion of the building for community and high school sports programs, the adult and community education program and community events. The site includes Griffith Field where Spruce Mountain High School home football games are played and practices are held.

Superintendent Robert Wall told the board Thursday that the cost to keep a significant portion of the 69,000-square-foot building open is $138,000. The academic wing was partitioned off at the end of school year 2012-13 and the high school students were sent to Jay.

However, the gymnasium, woodworking shop, offices, and at least one classroom are still used. Lockers for sports teams are also housed there. The downstairs cafeteria has served as the site for community functions, and the Area Youth Sports program operates out of the building.

Residents of the three-town district will vote at a districtwide meeting at 6 p.m. April 8 at Spruce Mountain Middle School either to retain the building for a variety of uses or close it.

Wall said the adult education program is not causing an increase or decrease in the preliminary budget. Each of the three towns provides $40,000 for the program wherever it is housed.

He also said that if voters choose to close it completely, the district will still be required to provide a minimal amount of money for plowing and insurance. He also said the gym is an important asset with a floor in very good condition.

He said adult education director Eileen Miazga has also been working on additional uses that would take in fees to offset maintenance costs while enhancing the offerings available in area towns.

“It has potential,” Wall said.

On the flip side, he said a considerable amount of cosmetic work should be done, handicapped accessibility must be upgraded, and energy efficiency improved.

Among the outreach Miazga has made is to the sales manager of the Comfort Inn and co-owner of Wilson Lake Inn, both in Wilton. She said both managers were very interested in the possibility of turning a section of the building into a conference center.

She is also developing a training program for the hospitality industry as part of the adult and community education program. The kitchen is nearly ready to serve as a commercial kitchen to train students in the culinary side of hospitality.

Other assets in the building include an ITV connection that links students with college courses.

Miazga said Friday afternoon that she will make a presentation on all the activities and other uses housed in the 1967 building.


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