Scarborough School Board extends superintendent's contract; bids sought for Wentworth School

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SCARBOROUGH — Bid requirements for the new Wentworth Intermediate  School were sent out Wednesday with the expectation sealed bids will be opened at the end of next month.

School Board Chairman Robert Mitchell said at the regular School Board meeting on July 19 that eight to 10 qualified general contractors will receive bid packages from Auburn-based Harriman Architects & Engineers.

Mitchell said contractors will have until the end of next month to submit bids for the projected $39 million project voters approved last fall. Bids will be unsealed at the Municipal Building on Aug. 30 and the wining bid is expected to be announced at the Sept. 6 School Board meeting.

School Board members also approved the final design contract with Harriman, and Mitchell said preliminary work to relocate a playground and raze the adjacent Bessworth building could be finished by the middle of August.

The school serving third- through fifth-graders is expected to be replaced by the beginning of the 2014 school year. Principal and interest payments on the construction bond could reach $66 million over 30 years.

School Board members also approved a one-year contract extension for Superintendent George Entwistle III, through June 30, 2015.

The extension allows escalating payments for meeting predetermined “performance incentive goals” set by the board before Sept. 1 of each school year, but did not specify any goals.

If the board agrees the goals have been met, Entwistle would earn a $2,000 bonus next year, $3,000 in 2014 and $5,000 in 2015. His base salary each year is $134,000, according to the contract.

Entwistle replaced interim superintendent and current Assistant Superintendent Joanne Sizemore on July 1, 2011. Sizemore served as superintendent after the retirement of David Doyle.

The meeting, which lasted just under 90 minutes, was devoted largely to reviews and readings of district policies, continuing a comprehensive look led by Policy Committee Chairwoman Jane Wiseman.

Twenty policies governing areas including graduation requirements, school facilities use and hiring procedures were given second readings and passed unanimously.

Wiseman said the review covered policies required by federal and state laws and also involved input from the Portland law firm of Drummond Woodsum.

Graduation standards were tweaked to require students graduating in 2015 to complete two semesters of “technology” courses for one credit among the 21 needed for graduation. The technology credit comes in lieu of credits for elective courses, which were reduced to 10.

At the suggestion of board member Jackie Perry, the board tabled a revision requiring the use of a professional search service when looking for a new superintendent.

“My concern is we may not may not want to go through a professional search service if we have someone in house we want to promote,” Perry said.

Entwistle noted that at least minimal use of a professional search service would shield the board from any potential legal actions regarding a candidate search, and the board agreed to take up the question again at a later date.

The board also approved hiring three new high school teachers for a three-year probationary period. Rachel Bryant and Toby Walsh were added to the science faculty, and Jack Aceto was added as a research room teacher.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.