RSU 1 seeks Morse High project committee members

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BATH — As it determines whether to rebuild or renovate Morse High School, Regional School Unit 1 is looking for people to serve on one of five building committees.

RSU 1 last year formed a nine-person building committee, composed of three members each from the central office, School Board, and community. Other groups will provide opportunities for additional community input.

Now the district is looking for residents of Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg and Woolwich to serve on one of five committees: community relations, design, site selection, sustainability and visioning. 

The volunteers will work with the High School Planning Committee to choose a site for a new high school, if RSU 1 selects that option.

Morse was built in 1928, with a new wing added in the 1960s.

RSU 1 Facilities Director David Richards described some major issues in the building late last year:

• Steam boilers from 1987 that have nearly reached the end of their 30-year lives.

• Accessibility challenges.

• A shortage of good student drop-off and pickup areas outside the school.

• And bricks that wick moisture from outside to inside, creating calcium deposits and cracks around windows.

RSU 1 hired design firm Lavallee Brensinger of Manchester, New Hampshire, for architectural and engineering services. That firm is producing a “new-versus-renovation” analysis of the current school facility, and recommending whether the district should renovate or reconstruct.

The project is guided by a 21-step major capital school construction process.

The analysis determining whether to rebuild or renovate the school is No. 5, and a local referendum, following the state Board of Education’s approval of the project concept, would be No. 13.

Bonding, construction and a project audit are the final three steps.

Contact RSU 1 Administrative Assistant Rob Morris by Friday, April 10, at 443-6601, ext. 116 or rmorris@rsu1.org, to join a committee or get more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.