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School Board Building Committee Minutes 01/11/2016
School Board/Building Committee Workshop
January 11, 2016

There was a joint School Board and Building Committee Workshop on Monday, January 11, 2016 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, Alison Caulfield,
Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Thomas Hancock, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon, Philip Shane, Nina Stoddard, and Karla Swanson Murphy.

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, Andy Madura, Sherrie Small, and
Alan Smith, Superintendent of Schools.

Others present were: Anne McMahon and Wayne Rivet.  


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.


Crooked River School Project

Mr. Blatt, the District’s Architect, shared the following information:

Mr. Blatt mentioned that from comments made before and after the referendum and discussions with the Building Committee, Mr. Blatt was asked to readdress the project.

  • The goal was to not diminish the number of program spaces.
  • He looked at the option of not adding onto the school to spend less money.
  • To accommodate two classes of students, you would still need to build program space.
Mr. Blatt shared a Scheme D with the Board as follows:

  • Same site plan as previous except the Music, Stage, and Auditorium wing was deleted.  The school will look much like it does now.  
  • The bus drop off will need to be revisited.
  • The wood pellet boiler and silo were removed.  One of the existing boilers will be replaced and one will be used as a backup.
  • A very simple addition will be made to the gymnasium to add a stage.
  • The gym will be able to be used as an all-purpose room.
  • There will be a gym curtain and an acoustic rigid wall installed.
  • The gym will still be able to be used for sports.
  • There will be a handicapped ramp and stairs to the stage.
  • There will be storage space for chairs and Physical Education equipment.
  • The major change is the music room will be moved to a new space where the locker rooms are.
  • The Music Room will be accessed from the gym.
  • There will be a new maintenance area.
  • The kitchen will be relocated to have a loading space.
  • The nurse’s office, guidance, speech, resource room and social worker space will be relocated.
Public bathrooms will be located near the multi-purpose room.
The remainder of the first floor is the same.

  • Upstairs:
  • The Library will be relocated.
  • The remainder of the upstairs changes very little.
  • The ball fields will not be resurfaced.
  • The oil tank will be replaced.
  • The fire pump and water storage for the sprinkler system is necessary.
  • The capacity of the school will be 15 classrooms – 20 students per room – 300 students.
  • As this is an intermediate school, each grade needs 5 classrooms; one for each subject – 15 classrooms.
  • The elevator will be reworked with controls that bring it up to ADA standards.
  • The budget was reviewed with the final cost of $7,995,000.

  • Try to put the project out to bid in August.
  • Break ground before the worst of winter weather.
  • Enter in January 2018 or wait until September 2019.
  • The kitchen will be a full production kitchen.  A decision can be made to fully equip it or provide less equipment.  
  • Every room has operable windows.  The ventilation is on all the time.  Fresh air is brought into the classrooms.  In the winter, the system warms the air and it flows all the time.
  • Superintendent Smith told Board members that the District did not do a good job of letting the public know what overcrowding means at Crooked River.  
  • Parents came to a tour of the building last week and they did not realize the challenges of the school.  
  • The Board needs to get information out to the public to show what the overcrowding challenges are at Songo Locks School including Special Services.  
  • Superintendent Smith asked if the group campaigning against the project would accept this proposal.  
  • Joseph McMahon shared that $5,000,000 would be approvable.   

  • There was a suggestion that only two grades be moved to Crooked River.
  • Two grades in a school is not educationally sound – it needs to be grades 3, 4, and 5.
  • Two grades in a school does not make for a good transition.
Teachers get to know the students over a 3-year period.
The Department of Education does everything based on K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

  • A Pre-Kindergarten is needed.  By moving only two grades to Crooked River, Songo Locks would be overcrowded again.
  • It is a big sell to people moving into the District to have a Pre-K.
  • The District is losing students to other Districts because we do not have a Pre-K.
  • The State is taking steps to mandate Pre-K and the federal government has allocated $250,000,000 to help with the costs of adding a pre-K.  
  • In the past 3 months, construction costs have gone up 10%.  
Superintendent Smith asked the Board if they could support the project.

He asked what does the District have to do to make people understand why the project is truly needed.

Joe McMahon commented that when the project is right and the problem with Sebago has been solved people will support it.  

Mr. McMahon mentioned that there is a process going on to develop a group of people who can talk to the Superintendent.

Mr. Bowditch clarified that the process is withdrawal from the District.  The feeling is that the Sebago people do not want to withdraw but want to negotiate something they can live with.  

There is a Public Hearing on January 19 and a vote on February 2.  The question on the ballot is, Do you favor proceeding with the withdrawal process at a cost of $25,000?

The general consensus is not to secede but to negotiate something they can live with.

If it passes, a Committee appointed by the Select people, including one School Board person, will be charged with negotiating to come up with an end result.

Mr. Bowditch will explain everything on January 19 at the Public Hearing.

Superintendent Smith brought the Board back to the original question.  

What direction do you want to go in and the timeline?

  • We have to do what is best for the kids in the District.  
  • Inform the people about the conditions at Songo Locks School and make them  understand the need for the project.
  • Educate people on why grades 3-5 is more educationally sound than moving two grades.
  • Songo Locks cannot stay as it is.
  • Put videos on the web site.
  • Relieve the fear in Sebago that the extra seats would close Sebago Elementary School.
  • Reach out to the stakeholders – parent/teacher groups, town recreational people, boosters organizations, and educate them on what education looks like today.   
  • Lake Region TV will be doing a video on the overcrowding.
  • Still pictures will be taken at Songo Locks School also.
  • Get a video of the cars at the end of the school day.  
The Superintendent asked for any other ideas to get the word out.

Superintendent Smith offered to do tours of the schools if anyone wants one or he is willing to discuss the project with anyone.


  • It would take 60 days to get it ready to go out to vote again.
  • Approximate date of April 1.
  • There is a need for people to continue getting information on the project so they will not lose sight of it.
  • Do not want the budget vote on the same date.
  • February 1st is the soonest the Board can vote on the project.    
The Building Committee was commended for their work on the Crooked River project.  The Architect and his staff were also commended for their work on the project.

The Building Committee will meet again and set a date for the next referendum and have a discussion on the next steps and whether to have an Ad Hoc Committee to get information out.  They will have a formal/informal discussion on next steps.

Superintendent Smith distributed a Per Pupil Cost for each school as follows:

                                  Total School    Student       Cost per                                            
                                      Budget       Population    Student

Lake Region High School            5,010,896.43      519         9,654.91
Lake Region Middle School          3,236,417.15      405         7,991.15
Songo Locks School                   3,383,479.60      450         7,518.84
Stevens Brook Elementary School    2,249,237.14      317         7,095.39
Sebago Elementary School             924,765.25       79        11,705.89

The numbers are based on the 2015-16 approved budget and October 1, 2015 enrollment report.  The numbers do not include district-wide costs such as special education, system administration, nurses, etc.  

The staff at Crooked River and Songo Locks School have done an excellent job with the transition of students from Crooked River to Songo Locks School.  The overcrowding started then and the teachers kept the educational levels up and made students feel welcome.  It is not working and the District needs to move forward to open Crooked River again.

Special Education takes a tremendous amount of square footage to serve the needs of the students.  Some special services students do not just have one issue, there can be several issues.  


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


                                                                    Date Approved
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