RUMFORD — An architect advised members a Regional School Unit 10 building committee Wednesday that her company is studying several pieces of land on which to build a school for elementary students or elementary and middle school students.

Lisa Sawin of Harriman Associates in Auburn said several parcels of 40 acres or more are being looked at, including the one where Mountain Valley Middle and Meroby Elementary schools stand in Mexico.

The district is considering constructing a school or renovating Rumford Elementary or Meroby Elementary schools, and Mountain Valley Middle School. A new school might house grades pre-kindergarten to eight, or pre-kindergarten to grade five, depending on decisions by the committee and voters in the seven district towns, which also include Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Hanover and Roxbury.

Among the criteria set by the Building Advisory Committee are:

• The building or buildings be within a three-mile radius of the Red Bridge in Rumford; and

• There be nearby access to nature and trails to enrich students’ educational experiences.

Rumford Elementary School Principal Jill Bartash said another should be property the district already owns to save money.

Sawin said the next phase of planning required by the Maine Department of Education includes looking at existing sites and researching other areas “that may be better suited for a building.”

The plan is to have new space ready by 2023.

RSU 10 has six schools: Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, Hartford-Sumner Elementary School in Sumner; Mountain Valley High School and Rumford Elementary School, both in Rumford; and Meroby Elementary and Mountain Valley Middle schools, both in Mexico.

Wednesday’s meeting had some committee members meeting in person but most attended via the internet.

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