Regional School Unit 16 directors meet Monday night to vote on how to configure elementary grades in the towns of Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland. They voted unanimously to keep the three elementary schools as is in each town. Eriks Petersons photo

POLAND — The Regional School Unit 16 board of directors voted unanimously Monday night to keep elementary schools in Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland intact as is.

The decision came after months of work and hundreds of man-hours by the 23-member Futures Task Force. The panel was formed after voters in the three communities defeated a $5.1 million bond request in May to repair the heating and ventilation systems in the elementary schools.

A broken plate in Minot Consolidated School’s boiler in September 2022 sparked the process after learning from consultants a similar calamity could occur at Elm Street School in Mechanic Falls and Poland Community School.

The Futures Task Force had been meeting since June to present a plan to recondition and update building operations, sustain educational requirements, address staff shortages, remedy transportation and food service issues, and present cost assessments.

The task force offered two options to directors: keep the three schools as is, or close Minot Consolidated School and reconfigure Elm Street school for prekindergarten through second grade and Poland school for grades three through six.

Several public forums were called to get input, culminating with a question and answer session with voters and directors Nov. 14.

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