Jodi Ellis, left, principal of Rumford and Meroby elementary schools in Rumford and Mexico, respectively, and Carrie Luce, principal of Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, speak Wednesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mountain Valley Community School on Highland Terrace in Mexico. Both will be principals of the new school. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — The new elementary/middle school on Highland Terrace will be the “heart of the community,” serving students, educators, families and others, a principal of the $92 million state-of-the art building said at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

That’s how Jodi Ellis, principal of Rumford Elementary and Meroby Elementary schools, described Mountain Valley Community School, where more than 1,000 students from those schools will attend classes with others from Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico.

Regional School Unit 10 administrators and students, community members and state officials attend Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mountain Valley Community School in Mexico. It will serve more than 1,000 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. It will replace the middle and elementary schools in Mexico and the Rumford Elementary School and is expected to open in late 2025 or early 2026. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

She said it will be a place “where educators, families, students and community members work together to provide the best education possible. We are fortunate to have such supportive educators, family and community members as well as board members here in (Regional School Unit 10).”

State and local officials, along with school administrators, students and others marked the groundbreaking at the site where Meroby and the middle schools stand. The new school, which will include prekindergarten to grade 8 students, is expected to open in late 2025 or early 2026.

Superintendent Deb Alden said she is excited about the project because “it really goes with the mission of our school” to “engage students to maximize their potential to lead fulfilling lives. And this is one big project that leads us in that direction.”

Another exciting factor is the size of the building that will allow for a full-time prekindergarten program, child development services and services for children with disabilities from birth through 5 years old, she said.


Regional School Unit 10 administrators during Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for Mountain Valley Community School in Mexico. From left, Laura Johnston, Rumford Elementary School assistant principal; Mark Thibodeau, Meroby Elementary School assistant principal; Jodi Ellis, principal of RES and MES, Carrie Luce, principal of Mountain Valley Middle School; Deb Alden, RSU 10 superintendent; Daniel Chuta, Maine Department of Education Deputy; Matt Gilbert, assistant superintendent; Brian Carrier, technology director; and Devin Roberts, building and grounds director. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

The school will include a school-based health center in coordination with Rumford Hospital and an Early Childhood Education program and early childhood education services for students at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology, Alden said. Another area will have a wellness and fitness center open to the community and students supported by federal grants.

Mountain Valley Middle School Principal Carrie Luce, who will be a co-principal of the new school with Ellis, said, the state-of-the-art school means “we will be able to provide our students with an enhanced learning environment that will prepare them for the demands of our quickly changing world by bringing together the faculty of each of the three schools to work collaboratively under one roof.” It will serve “as a hub for community engagement that involves our students, their parents, our staff and local stakeholders.”

Mark Thibodeau and Laura Johnston, assistant principals at Meroby and Rumford schools, respectively, will be assistant principals at the new school.

Music students from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford played and sang the national anthem before a crowd of about 50 people, which included state Sen. Lisa Keim of Dixfield, Maine Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Daniel Chuhta, Mexico Selectman TJ Williams, Rumford Town Manager Stacy Carter, RSU 10 school board Chairman Greg Buccina and representatives of Harriman Architecture and Landry French Construction.

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