Harriman architects of Auburn provided Regional School Unit 10 a rendering of a new school for 1,050 students in prekindergarten to grade eight in Mexico. The site is where Meroby Elementary and Mountain Valley Middle schools stand. A public hearing on the $91.8 million project is set for Oct. 24 in Rumford, with voters deciding on the issue at the polls Nov. 8. Lincoln Brown Illustrations

RUMFORD — A public hearing on building a $91.8 million school in Mexico will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Residents of the seven towns of Regional School Unit 10 will vote Nov. 8 on whether to approve the project.

It will be the second vote on the issue. The first one June 14 was nullified because Mexico’s warrant was posted June 8, one day short of the legally required minimum seven-day notice. The vote then was 938-591.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Deb Alden and the board of directors discussed plans for the hearing. Alden had flyers about the project and the Nov. 8 vote to be posted in buildings in the district towns of Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover.

The school is planned for the site of Mountain Valley Middle School at 58 Highland Terrace and Meroby Elementary School at 21 Cross St., both in Mexico. It would replace those schools and Rumford Elementary School and include grades prekindergarten through eight.

It would accommodate up to 1,050 students and serve children with disabilities from birth to 5 years old. Plans include a health clinic in partnership with Rumford Hospital and an early childhood education program run by Region 9 School of Technology staff and students.


About 98% of the cost would be paid by the Maine Department of Education.

Harriman, the architectural and design company, has been meeting with 14 groups, including library staff, child development services and the special education department, over the past two months as part of its design process, Alden said.

If voters approve the project again, the district hopes to begin construction next fall, she said.

In other business, Alden said student enrollment for the district as of Oct. 1 was 1,748, a decline of 25 from a year ago.

She also advised that information collected on enrollment figures showed some residents did not provide their income status, which is used to determine state and federal subsidies for free or reduced-rate meals.

“But what we fear is happening, at least partially, is not everybody is filling out the paperwork,” she said. Residents of Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury and Hanover are not required to fill out the paperwork giving their income status, but Sumner, Hartford and Buckfield are, she said.


“We’ve tried to make a gallant effort to get everybody to fill out the paperwork no matter what, but it doesn’t necessarily happen,” she said.

In another matter, directors approved the lease/purchase of a new school bus for $78,916.

Business Manager Leah Kaulback reminded the board that the bus will replace one involved in an accident in June.

The board also approved a $120,000 bond for another school bus, which was approved by voters in June. The board’s approval will allow the district to move forward with that bid and select the banks, Kaulback said. Both buses are scheduled to be delivered in November, she said.

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