DIXFIELD — The Regional School Unit 10 board Monday approved removing a 10,000-gallon in-ground oil tank at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico and replacing it with above-ground propane tanks.

Buildings and Grounds Director Kenny Robbins said the oil tank has a leak and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has ordered its removal.

Propane tanks will be installed by the gas supplier.

The cost to remove the oil tank is $12,000, and the cost for the conversion is $22,000. The district will still save a substantial amount of money because of the lower cost for propane gas. Also, if the River Valley should receive access to natural gas, the propane tanks can be converted for that use.

In other building matters, Mountain Valley High School Principal Matt Gilbert said all areas of the school, except Muskie Auditorium, are ready for students to arrive Wednesday. He said the flat portion of the roof has been sealed and a new roof installed over the auditorium, where much work remains to be done. The acoustic tiles and carpeting are being replaced, and lighting is being improved.

A group of district residents, including at least one Rumford selectman, is providing direction for the auditorium.


Gilbert said he hopes the auditorium will be open sometime in November.

Robbins said the district’s insurance company will likely pay $78,000 toward the estimated $200,000 in damage and repairs caused by heavy rains and melting snow leaking into the school during the past school year.

In other matters, the board approved purchase of two used vans that can transport up to five students and two adults for the special services department. Special Services director Clarissa Fish said the funds will come from the department.

The board also approved a two-day retreat for Buckfield Junior-Senior High School seventh-graders for Sept. 8-10 at Bear Pond in Turner. Principal George Reuter said it’s a nearly 20-year tradition.

The purpose is for students to develop group participation and leadership, set goals, learn about the community and its needs. Each student will pay $25 for meals. The $500 for the two camps will come from the middle school student council account.

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