Scarborough plans for 'last hoo-rah' of the season

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Summerfest set for Aug. 19

SCARBOROUGH — Visitors to the town’s annual end-of-summer celebration will be greeted with familiar attractions: fried dough, fireworks, music and children’s and adult races.

This year, they’ll also have a chance to acquaint themselves with the proposal for a new Wentworth Intermediate School.

The 14th Summerfest will take place Friday, Aug. 19, at the high school’s baseball field off Gorham Road. Festivities begin at 4 p.m., with a fireworks show planned for about 9:15 p.m.

“It’s the town’s last hoo-rah before school starts,” said Ben Reichl, recreations manager for Scarborough Community Services. “It’s a way for everyone in the community to get together one last time in the summer.”

The Wentworth Building Committee will use the bully pulpit afforded by a Summerfest information booth to publicly launch its campaign for a new intermediate school.

The Town Council decided on July 20 to send the no-more-than $39 million question to voters in November.

“We’ll have a booth and we plan on handing out information concerning the financial piece of the project — the project outline, the geothermal component of the project and why we need a new school,” committee Chairman Paul Koziel said.

Koziel said the building committee’s work has shifted from exploring possibilities for a new school to educating the public about its proposal. Members of the committee will be on hand at Summerfest with videos, information and sign-up sheets where residents can join the group’s mailing list.

The new Wentworth would stand two stories tall and contain 40 classrooms. It would feature a large, internal courtyard to maximize natural light to classrooms, and a large gym for district-wide use. A large kitchen would provide food for all the town’s public schools, and space would be reserved for community services.

The building would total about 163,000 square feet, for a construction price of about $240 per square foot, if the plan includes a proposed geothermal heating and cooling system.

But it won’t all be policy talk and number-crunching at Summerfest.

Athletes of all ages can sign up at 4:30 for a roadrace. Children will register for a one-mile fun run, while adults can enter a more grueling five-mile contest. The race is organized by the schools’ Track Boosters.

“The Amazing Lou” will return from 4 p.m to 5 p.m. for a stage magic show. Afterward, he’ll do a few hours of walk-about magic in the crowd.

And from about 6:30 to 9:10 p.m., local guitar trio Coos Canyon will pluck and sing until the fireworks begin.

Available throughout the festival will be food from local vendors, games, a climbing wall, information booths from area nonprofits and commercial vendors.

Some details are still being ironed out, Reichl said. For example, organizers are still trying to secure a dunk tank – and maybe some unsuspecting victims – for another kids activity.

“That’s always a huge hit,” Reichl said. “We usually try to get the teachers in it, and the kids love that.”

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Mario on Twitter: @riocarmine.