Tom Danylik, RSU 10 athletic director and Mountain Valley High School assistant principal, addresses the board of directors Monday night about dropping the Nordic ski program this year. Directors, from left, are Rita Aromaa of Hanover, Peter DeFilipp of Mexico, Michelle Casey of Buckfield, Abbey Rice of Rumford and Travis Palmer of Rumford.  Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Deb Alden told directors Monday night that a construction plan for a school for grades prekindergarten to five, or possibly to grade eight, is set for 2023.

She said for an elementary school for the lower grades, officials are looking at a 20-plus acre site, and for a combined elementary and middle school, they would be looking for a 35-plus acre site.

The state Department of Education approved a new school for students from Rumford and Meroby elementary schools and Mountain Valley Middle School. The latter two are in Mexico.

Alden and Building, Grounds and Transportation Director Scott Holmes presented plans for construction, beginning with newspaper ads requesting qualifications from architectural firms.

Other steps include:

  • Establishing subcommittees to begin site and school building studies, choose a concept design and begin the architect’s design development, which is expected to take a year. Public hearings and approvals by the state Board of Education are required.
  • Acquiring a bond, which must be approved by state agencies.
  • Getting construction bids and awarding contracts.

In other business, directors voted to suspend the Nordic ski program at Mountain Valley High School for the year because not enough students are interested, the coach is not able to attend Saturday competitions, and no one has applied for the coach’s position.

High school Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Tom Danylik said without a Nordic ski program at the middle school the past three years, the high school has only five students interested in competing this season.

“Nordic skiing, cross country skiing is something that has a very rich tradition in history here with the Chisholm Ski Club, with the Broomhall family,” he said. “I’m very aware of that. But unfortunately, our numbers are dwindling drastically in this sport.”

Another factor is it reportedly cost $3,194 per Nordic skier last year, Danylik said.

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