Directors of Regional School Unit 10 vote Monday in a straw poll to move forward with building a combined elementary/middle school in Mexico. Meeting at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford are, from left, Directors Bonnie Child and Janet Brennick, both of Mexico; Administrative Assistant Peggy Collette; Superintendent Deb Alden; and Directors Greg Buccina of Rumford, Jerry Wiley of Buckfield, Charlie Maddaus of Sumner, Michelle Casey of Buckfield and Gail Parent of Hanover. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — A proposal to build a school for grades prekindergarten to eight in Mexico won the support of 14 voters in a straw poll Monday evening.

The poll was conducted before the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors meeting. Nine people at the meeting, including seven directors, and five people attending remotely cast votes. No one opposed moving  forward with a new building.

The school is planned at the site of Meroby Elementary and Mountain Valley Middle schools in Mexico. It would house students from Rumford and Mexico elementary schools and the middle school.

A vote by RSU 10 residents on a design concept is tentatively planned for Aug. 11, Lisa Sawin, one of the three Harriman architects at the meeting, said.

The architects, along with Superintendent Deb Alden and Building, Grounds and Transportation Director Scott Holmes meet monthly with Maine State Department of Education officials about the project. Sawin said the group is working toward submitting a site plan application to the department July 30.

In other business, the board voted to accept $14,600 from Rumford to help fund cable programming for students at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. Principal Matt Gilbert told directors that over the past 18 months the school has “started to discover the value of broadcasting everything that you do.”


He said there is a need “to educate some of our kids and provide programming for our students so that it’s not just us pushing (broadcast) material out there, but we’re helping our kids and not just our teachers for the 21st century skills that are obviously being used in all kinds of different places.”

Rumford Selectman Chris Brennick, who teaches at the high school, said giving high school students cable programming would be an “exciting opportunity” and be “highly engaging to the community.”

In another matter, directors approved a three-year collective bargaining agreement for bus and van drivers, custodians and grounds and mechanic employees. The contract runs from July 1 through June 30, 2024.

Alden said Tuesday that van drivers were added to the contract, but other than that there were no major changes.

RSU 10 includes Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Hanover, Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner.

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