2013-11-15 / Letters

Work to M.L. Day School cannot be put off any longer

To the editor:

Mildred L. Day School in Arundel is one of three facilities the RSU 21 Board of School Directors hopes to renovate following a Jan. 21 referendum. The project, estimated at more than $11 million, is one that cannot be put off any longer.

For the past 35 years, the portions of the building closest to the Maine Turnpike has been sinking, or, more accurately, settling, at the rate of approximately one-half inch per year. That portion of the building now sits more than 17 inches below where it was originally constructed.

One can imagine the strain this places on the parts of the structure that are connected to the other wings, from plumbing and electrical to structural. Just walking through the building, or around the outside, one can see the cracks and separations in walls, foundations and window ledges.

In October, a water pipe connecting two wings of the building burst open under the parking lot – most likely as a result of the stress created by the settling of the building.

Of more grave concern are the trusses that support the gymnasium roof, as engineering studies have shown that continued settling will place undue strain on those support structures.

Although it doesn’t seem it should be necessary to make any further arguments for supporting the demolition and rebuilding of much of the school, there are other problems at M.L. Day that would cause me to vote for the project even if the settling did not exist. The lack of insulation and life-safety systems, the outdated lighting and electrical systems, the lack of security – each of these is cause for concern.

Mildred L. Day School is our community center. It is the heart of our town. As we watch many communities around us update their facilities despite challenging economic times, we must recognize that the investment in our schools is one of the wisest decisions we can make.

Making our town an attractive place to live is an immeasurable benefit provided by quality schools. A quality facility is part of that equation. I’m voting yes on Jan. 21.

Dorothy Gregoire

Return to top