2014-07-18 / Community

School renovation plans move forward

Two plans presented for Kennebunkport Consolidated School
By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — The Regional School Unit 21 board of directors approved the first reading of multi-million dollar renovation plans for Mildred L. Day School in Arundel and Kennebunkport Consolidated School on Monday night.

After a proposal asking for $75 million to renovate Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day and Consolidated failed to pass at the January referendum, the school board and each building committee have siphoned off approximately 30 percent from the cost of the projects.

In March the school board recapitulated with a new collective renovation cost that was set at $55 million. The building committees of each of the three schools have been working to assess where and what they are able to cut.

The Kennebunk High School Building Committee was told to cap the high school project at $42 million; Mildred L. Day at $9 million and Consolidated at $4 million.

At the July 14 meeting, Amy Johnson, the school board representative on the Consolidated Building Committee, told the board the committee had agreed after much scrutiny that $4 million was not an adequate number.


The school board heard the first reading of renovation plans for Mildred L. Day School (top photo) in Arundel and Kennebunkport Consolidated School. The Kennebunk High School Building Committee will present its renovation plans to the school board for a first reading Monday, July 21. 
(Courtesy photos) The school board heard the first reading of renovation plans for Mildred L. Day School (top photo) in Arundel and Kennebunkport Consolidated School. The Kennebunk High School Building Committee will present its renovation plans to the school board for a first reading Monday, July 21. (Courtesy photos) Dan Cecil, the district’s architect, agreed and added that the committee had to make “significant compromises” to get under $4 million.

Cecil and Johnson presented two plans for Consolidated: one that the committee favored, and one that adhered to the $4 million marker which Cecil referred to as “bare bones,” and would include no new square footage.

The favored plan, which capped at approximately $6 million without an addition to the cafeteria, includes the elimination of the external modular classrooms and two additional classrooms built on to the existing structure, a fullsize multi-purpose room, a new music room, and a sufficient infrastructure upgrade.

The preferred plan includes an additional 6,000 square feet – down from the initial proposal in January, which called for 22,000 feet of new square footage.

The Mildred L. Day Building Committee hit its $9 million marker for renovation, during which the the C and D wings will be replaced – totaling approximately 24,000 square feet of new structure. The new C and D wings will include all administration offices, a new gymnasium, kitchen, maintenance office, library and six classrooms including the computer lab. The committee has chosen to, on top of where the C and D wings sit now, lay a paved parking lot and bus loop.

Mechanical and electrical upgrades that were made to the A and B wings in 1999 have saved it from having to be upgraded this time around, Cecil said.

An aspect that all three renovation projects share is the need for major infrastructure improvements or enhancements, whether it is retrofitting the buildings to be ADA compliant, adding sufficient sprinkler systems, improving building security or making the structures more energy efficient.

Kennebunk resident Ed Karytko praised the committees for their hard work, but admitted that the rising numbers weren’t going to sit well with residents. “My problem is that it’s (the total) going to creep up,” Karytko said. Working on three large projects at the same time is an “enormous” task for any school district, Karytko said. “What comes next if this fails (again)?”

All three building committees will present their final plans for renovation twice to both the Facilities Committee and the school board.

The Kennebunk High School Building Committee is scheduled to present its plan to the Facilities Committee for a first reading at 7:30 a.m. Friday, July 18 and to the school board at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21 – both meetings will be at Kennebunk Elementary School. All three committees will present their plans for a final reading to the Facilities Committee at 7:30 a.m. Friday, July 25 at Kennebunk Elementary School.The final decision to take action or to send the projects back to the drawing board will be made by the school board at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4 at Kennebunk Elementary School.

For more information about upcoming meetings, visit www.rsu21.net.

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