RANGELEY — The RSU 78 board voted Tuesday to apply for a Maine Bond Bank loan to pay for energy-saving projects at Rangeley Lakes Regional School, including a state-of-the-art wood pellet boiler and water heater.

Virginia Nuttall of the district Facilities Committee presented recommendations from Siemens Industry Inc. of Scarborough. They included, besides the boiler and water heater, LED lights throughout the building, 98 occupancy sensors, power misers for the two vending machines,  weather stripping and insulation.

She listed the total cost for all projects as $991,148. That total is not quite budget neutral, but Siemens guarantees savings, and it includes a service contract.

The board voted to apply for a loan from the Maine Bond Bank, which charges 1.5 percent interest on energy projects. Directors also instructed Superintendent Sue Pratt to return to Siemens for a final cost analysis and to discuss advantages of a 10-year versus 20-year term.

Nuttall said the project would go far toward guaranteeing another 40 years of use from the 40-year-old building.

Regarding plans for updating the building, Nuttall presented bid requirements for the architectural design and suggested that legal advisers look at it before sending it to architect. The board approved.

Nuttall said in an interview Thursday that there are four goals for improving the school: Making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, making room for students to move from the portable classrooms into the school, updating the science labs and assessing needs of the electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems.

The two-story building was constructed in 1977 and houses about 200 students in grades kindergarten to 12.

The plan is to choose an architect by August and to have a concept ready by January to take to the public for a straw vote.

The board voted Tuesday to adopt the new vision and mission statement, including a preamble written by the students last fall, after some minor changes in wording. Pratt stressed that it should be a working document and not hidden away in a file.

Directors also approved the formation of a Model UN Club at the request of three faculty members.

Model UN clubs engage in an authentic simulation of the United Nations system, learning the skills of debate, compromise, conflict resolution and negotiation. Members also learn about the workings of world diplomacy through the lens of current events.

One of the goals of the club is to attend a regional Model UN conference in Boston either next year or the following year.

Board members Nancy Hilliard and Nuttall both spoke highly of the organization from personal experience.

The board approved the minutes of the public budget hearing of June 3, in which all 17 budget articles were approved by the voters, most of them unanimously. The total school budget for 2014-15 is just under $3.5 million.

In other news, acting Chairwoman Pam Ellis thanked outgoing board members Harold Schaetzle, Michelle Elliott and, in absentia, Brad Stokes for their years of service.


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