Facilities committee to address Freeport High School needs

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FREEPORT — The Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors will form a committee to address the safety, accessibility and appearance of the high school.

The 16-member Freeport High School Facilities Study Advisory Committee will include three teachers, three administrators, six parents and community members, three students and one member of the RSU 5 facilities subcommittee.

High school Principal Bob Strong will lead the panel.

Superintendent of Schools Shannon Welsh said while the high school could accommodate up to 600 students three years ago, it is time to reassess enrollment and the quality of the facility.

The advisory group will evaluate space within the school to determine what is needed, based on increasing enrollment and programs. It will report to the School Board in November and complete its work by January 2012.

Katherine Breer, one of the residents who helped initiate the high school facilities committee, said while the advisory committee will address the long-term goals of the high school, a few short-term goals could be completed before school opens next fall.

She asked the board to consider adding $9,500 to the budget to address these short term needs. The board has already added $5,000 to the budget for high school improvement projects.

Breer said outdoor projects such as landscaping, picnic tables, an outdoor classroom area and vegetable garden could be completed before the start of the next school year. She also suggested painting the hallways, doors and trim in the school; adding benches for students; bulletin boards, and artwork and trophies in the main entrance.

These simple upgrades would create a “much more uniform, aesthetically pleasing look to the high school,” Breer said.

The board will discuss funding options at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

The Freeport High School Facilities Study Advisory Committee will meet on May 4 at 5 p.m. in Room 113 at Freeport High School. 

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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