DIXFIELD — Regional School Unit 56 directors Tuesday night approved of a newly formed board creating a plan by Sept. 12 to keep the Wellness Center open.

The approval comes with two provisions: that the center vacate by Sept. 30 if the school budget passes; and the center budget not exceed $16,000.

Greg Buccina of Rumford, along with other members of the recently formed board, asked directors to consider keeping the center open a few extra months. It’s in the building that housed the central offices of Regional School Unit 10.

“We ask that the Wellness Center remain open so a feasible plan can be worked out that would allow the Wellness Center to remain where it is now, or an alternative location can be determined so that citizens of this area can continue to utilize this wonderful facility,” Buccina said.

He said that by doubling membership rates, adjusting wages for staff and employing volunteers, the new board could cut costs to make the center viable.

The facility was formerly known as the Dirigo Fitness Center. It includes resistance training machines, squat racks, free weights and treadmills.

Director Bruce Ross of Dixfield said, “We have exhaustively looked for places to put this thing, we haven’t just turned our back on the … center. We know how valuable it is to the community, we’ve searched through the high school, the middle school, we even thought maybe we’ll put half here and half there. It belongs to this district so we’re not going to take it out of this district.”

In other business the board:

• Signed warrants for the annual budget meeting July 26 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield; and 

• Hired Amy Gammon of Dixfield as a first grade teacher for Dirigo Elementary School in Peru. She was recently a kindergarten teacher at Andover Elementary School and a long-term substitute teacher at Dirigo Elementary School before her job in Andover.

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Amy Gammon of Dixfield was hired as a first grade teacher for Dirigo Elementary School during the RSU 56 board meeting Tuesday night.

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