SAD 17 board of directors

Dec. 4, 2017

Administration Office

Energy retrofit

What happened: Business Manager Cathy Coffey gave a presentation on the Oxford Hills School District Energy Retrofit Projects. Since year one in 2007, the projects have included a new wood chip boiler at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, wood pellet boilers and propane backup systems at the Oxford Hills Middle School and Paris Elementary School, new wood pellet boilers at the Oxford and Guy E. Rowe Elementary schools and other energy upgrades throughout the district. Each project was backed by a performance contract that, in part, requires the vendor to analyze the results of the project to determine if the guaranteed savings are met.

What it means: The majority of the projects have generated savings, according to Superintendent Rick Colpitts and Coffey. The projects have also provided new equipment across the district, reduced operational costs and labor for repair and maintenance, provided a significant positive environmental impact and reduced the district’s reliance on foreign oil. By year five, the districtwide projects showed in excess of $148,241 in projected savings. Coffey said positive cash flow on a few projects have been slowed by the decline in costs for No. 2 fuel oil.


What’s next: School officials will continue to monitor the project savings and expect that as loans for various projects are paid off in the next few years, more savings will be seen in all the projects.

Strategic initiatives

What happened: Colpitts gave a brief report describing implemented strategic initiatives.

What it means: Colpitts said a significant amount of money, including $1.6 million in grants and $1 million in federal money, in addition to some state and local funds, has been used to implement strategies detailed in the school district’s Strategic Plan. One of those areas needing attention has been programming.

What’s next: Over the next four meetings, the board of directors will get detailed information about improvements that are needed in areas they have concerns about, such as low state assessment scores. For example, at the board’s next meeting Dec. 18, directors will hear about how interventionists for grades 3 through 6 will be used to strengthen student scores in areas such as mathematics.

Regional center


What happened: Colpitts said the district has been approached by SAD 52 in Turner and RSU 16 in Poland about submitting a concept proposal to the state to develop a Regional Services Center for bus maintenance and special education.

What it means: The proposal, if accepted, would not create the center but provide $2,000 plus a consultant for the districts to study the potential savings. Because SAD 17 already has a shared special education program with SADs 72 in Fryeburg and 44 in Bethel, the costs would be reduced even more for SAD 17 if RSU 16 and SAD 52 join. Additionally, those two school districts have need of a bus maintenance facility, and with an unnamed municipality that is also looking for a regional site to repair its heavy equipment,  it might provide significant savings to SAD 17.

What’s next:  The superintendents of the three school districts submitted a concept application to the state by the Nov. 30 deadline and are awaiting an OK to begin a feasibility study.

Musical instruments

What happened: The board of directors unanimously approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation to contract with David French Music in Westboro, Massachusetts, for $17,320 to purchase musical instruments.

What it means: The Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School music program will receive instruments, including two tenor saxophones, two French horns and two sousaphones.

Rick Colpitts (file photo)

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