RUMFORD — The overwhelming consensus among the more than 100 people who attended the first public forum to determine the restructuring or closure of Regional School Unit 10 schools showed a preference for combining all Dirigo and Mountain Valley high school students into one building in Rumford, and merging the middle school students from both Mexico and Dixfield into the current Dirigo High School.

Tuesday’s forum brought parents, public officials, students, staff and other community members together to begin the work of providing ideas for the restructuring or closing some of the 11 schools that currently serve the 2,600 students.

Superintendent Craig King said the current schools were originally built to educate nearly 4,500 students.

“We are maintaining buildings that aren’t used to their capacity,” he said during the introduction to the forum. “The configurations and designs are not conducive to our needs for the next 10 to 20 years.”

Restructuring the district would also reduce operating costs while providing greater opportunities for students, he added.

The preferred option emphasized the need to retain similar age groups, such as keeping all grade nine-12 students together, and all students in grades six-eight together.


The other options suggested combining students in grades seven-12 in the Dirigo region and the Mountain Valley region.

Under the preferred option, Rumford Elementary School, Mountain Valley Middle School, Pennacook Learning Center and the former Dixfield Elementary School would be closed.

Renovations would be needed at Meroby Elementary School, Dirigo High School and Mountain Valley High School.

The RSU 10 board will use the information gathered Tuesday, and that will be gathered at the two remaining forums when making decisions on whether to close or restructure some buildings during the next year or two.

The two buildings that serve all students in the Buckfield area will remain the same.

The next forum takes place at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 16, at Dirigo High School.

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