BRUNSWICK — A new school year may be underway, but old matters are still dominating the School Board’s attention.
At their meeting Wednesday, the board shared on the progress of several projects, most of which center on the repair and replacement of buildings and facilities.
Superintendent Paul Perzanoski also announced that Lisa Cushman, assistant principal at the junior high school, will retire after 31 years of service.
The architect who is drafting plans to construct a new, $28 million building to replace the overcrowded Coffin Elementary School, has revised the floor plan, Sarah Singer told the board.
Singer and Billy Thompson co-chair the new school building committee, which met with architect Lyndon Keck Oct. 5 to discuss the evolving plans.
The 90,000-square-foot school, to be built with local tax dollars on the site of the old Jordan Acres school, was originally proposed to have two art rooms, Singer said, although Keck has recommended consolidating the rooms into one and reallocating the remaining square footage elsewhere.
If members of the public wish to give input on the recommendation for the new layout, they need to before November, Singer said, when Keck is hoping to wrap up the design. The building committee next meets on Oct. 19.
Like Coffin, the junior high school has also been plagued with major structural problems and functional inadequacies, and the district applied last spring for state funding to replace it.
The process to receive state aid is competitive, and more than 70 schools are vying for funding for about 15 projects, according to a past update from Keck. The state announced it would accept applications last September, the first time it has done so in six years.
Perzanoski said the Department of Education will tour the school on Nov. 20. A decision about funding is expected in June 2018.
The district initially submitted state applications for both Coffin and the junior high, although Coffin’s was disqualified after voters approved local financing in June.
Confronted with two failing school buildings – and overcrowding at Coffin – the School Board recommended a plan last winter to locally fund a new elementary school and hold out for state funding for the junior high.
At the time of the vote, board members said they believed it was unlikely the state would fund two Brunswick projects, and if local taxpayers were going to have to pay for one building, it should be the smaller, less-expensive elementary school.