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School Board Minutes 01/26/2015

January 26, 2015

There was a Special Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,    January 26, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.


Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Board members present were:  Debra Albert, Ben Bowditch, Stan Buchanan, Allison Caulfield,         Beth Chaplin, Paula Grace, Jody Gray, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon,      Philip Shane, and Karla Swanson-Murphy.  Karen Eller was excused.

Administrators present were:  Tonya Arnold, Lisa Caron, Kirsten Goff,     Deborah Howard, Andrew Madura, Sherrie Small, Joshua Sturk, Cheryl Turpin and Alan Smith, Superintendent of Schools.

Barry Johnson and Bruce Harmon were also present.


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

The purpose of the meeting was to have a discussion regarding the District’s facilities.

Janice Barter shared that last week on January 20, 21, and 22, the Lake Region School Board held three Public Forums at Sebago Elementary School, Stevens Brook Elementary School, and Songo Locks School, respectively.  The forums were held to discuss the various options available for housing elementary students in the District due to the overcrowding issue at Songo Locks School.  A list of items which were discussed were consolidated and shared (copy attached).  The options were as follows:

1.  Status quo
2.  Build onto current facilities
3.  Repurpose Facilities
4.  Redistricting
5.  Move 5th graders to Lake Region Middle School
6.  Portable at Songo Locks School

Chairperson Barter asked Board members, if it was possible, to narrow down the options to see what direction the Board wanted to take.  The following options were deleted:  

  • Move 5th graders to Lake Region Middle School as a short-term solution
  • Redistricting
  • Status Quo

There was a discussion regarding the other options as follows:

Building onto current facilities:

  • Who’s paying for it?
  • No costs available at the current time.
  • Superintendent Smith mentioned that he had a rough estimate for building a 20 classroom basic structure.  The cost would be approximately $7,000,000.  That figure would not include land acquisition, water, etc.
Portable at Songo Locks School

  • Timeframe for getting portables to Songo Locks School?  They can be installed in a short period of time.
Lease-purchase option:
  • A new, 4-classroom structure, with a propane heating system, no restroom, would be $110,000; with a bathroom, would be $120,000.
  • What would the space be used for?  The Principal and possibly a community committee could determine the use of the space.
  • The bond for Songo Locks School will be paid off in 2015-16.
  • Concern was expressed for the septic system at Songo Locks School; the system is 20 years old and the school is using 3,000 gallons of water a day. The system was not designed for that.
Month-to-month Portable Rental Option

  • A monthly rent is possible for $2,500 per month
Repurposing Crooked River Elementary School

  • Forums indicated that the majority of the people wanted to reopen Crooked River.
  • Cost isn’t the issue.
  • Portables are not a good solution.
  • A minimum of 12 classrooms are needed to move grades 4 and 5 to Crooked River.
  • Locations for the Adult Education program, Alternative Education program and possibly the Special Services Office needs to be determined.
Parking Proposal

  • Need information on the parking proposals.
  • There are 3 proposals – add another entrance, add 30 parking spaces - $224,000; Add to lower parking lot - $100,000; add to upper parking lot – $61,000;  total cost with DEP review and approval - $724,000 for the whole project.  The proposal is in 3 phases.  If students moved to Crooked River, at least part of the work would still need to be done as there was an issue prior to students were moved from Crooked River to Songo Locks School.
A construction project can take 5 or 6 years to complete – need a place to put the students during construction.

The Board was asked for the direction they wanted to go in so the Superintendent could bring back a proposal.  

Discussion included the following:

  • Concentrate on reopening Crooked River
  • Hire an engineer
  • Put a hold on the parking options until the costs of the move and reopening of Crooked River is determined
  • Reopening Crooked River would be a short-term fix to relieve the overcrowding. A long-range plan needs to be determined.
  • Could the Special Services Office at Crooked River be housed in the lower level of Lake Region Middle School?  
  • The Alternative Education Program would not be a good fit at Lake Region Middle School.
  • The brick end of the Bridgton Memorial School may be able to be opened for use for the Adult Education Office.  A lot of the Adult Education programs could be done at the high school.
  • The White House may be able to be relocated on the high school property to provide a space for the Alternative Education students.  It is a good space for 5 to 10 years.
In order to make a decision, the Board asked for the following information:

  • Full-presentation on parking lot options at Songo Locks School and the costs.
  • If Crooked River is reopened, where are the other programs going?  Costs?
Costs of bringing Crooked River up to code.
  • What would a long-range plan look like – addition to Songo Locks School, Crooked River, or stand-alone building?  Final costs.     
Superintendent Smith mentioned that he would be meeting with the engineer next week.  As the engineer is familiar with the District and the buildings, it is hoped that a proposal could be determined fairly quickly.

A special Board meeting will be called, if necessary, for the Board to decide on an option and budget funds as necessary.    

There was a discussion regarding the District having a Facebook page.  


The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.


                                                                                   Date Approved