DIXFIELD — The Regional School Unit 10 Buildings and Grounds Committee took its next step in developing a possible future of the district’s schools when they met Wednesday night.

This is the first such meeting since the district held a series of public brainstorming sessions last spring.

The goal is to eventually devise a plan for closing or restructuring one or more of the district’s schools to better meet the needs of its 2,500 students and potentially save money for taxpayers.

The results of the meeting will be presented to the full school board at Tuesday’s meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. at Dirigo High School.

During the spring public sessions, three scenarios were considered: 

* Permanently close Rumford Elementary School, Mountain Valley Middle School, Pennacook Learning Center and Dirigo East classroom space, add on to Meroby Elementary School and renovate Dirigo High School and Mountain Valley High School, sending all grades 9-12 from Dirigo and Mountain Valley to MVHS and sending all Dirigo and Mountain Valley sixth- through eighth-graders to DHS

* Send all Dirigo grade seven-12 students to DHS, send all Mountain Valley grade seven-12 students to MVHS and close MVMS, RES, Pennacook and the Central Office building

* Close Pennacook Learning Center, Dirigo East campus and RES

In all cases, Buckfield students would continue to attend their schools.

The options, which are not the only ones that may be considered, are the results of a study of each building by an architect and the Building and Grounds Committee last spring.

While the committee and the full school board will be discussing these and possibly other options, the district is also dealing with steps currently underway by the four towns that had previously made up School Administrative District 21 — Canton, Carthage, Peru and Dixfield — to withdraw from RSU 10.

While some suggested that future plans should be put on hold because of the withdrawal activities, Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Kenny Robbins said some changes can still take place.

He also pointed out that many of the Dirigo and Mountain Valley high school students already viewed the two high schools as one “big group of MVHS and DHS kids.”

And Scott Holmes said all buildings should be maintained during the decision process, although no large expenditures should be made.

Superintendent Craig King said combining high schools was not an option right now.

Member Jeremy Volkernik pointed out that the student population continues to decline in the RSU 10 towns.

Additional meetings to discuss the future of the RSU 10 schools will likely take place later in the fall.


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