SCARBOROUGH — The long-time school facilities director has resigned to take a similar position in Gorham.
Norm Justice, who has worked for the School Department for 21 years, submitted his resignation last week. On Sept. 4, he will begin his new position as Gorham schools facilities director and owner’s representative for the town’s new elementary school.
Justice, who lives in Gorham with his wife, Scarborough Town Clerk Tody Justice, said the new job provides a great opportunity and an easy commute. Justice has also served 15 years on the Gorham Town Council and said he is familiar with how the town works and is confident in its leadership.
In the two-plus decades he worked for Scarborough, Justice oversaw two high school additions, construction of primary schools and the middle school. He has also seen the roof on every school replaced.
“When I started back in 1987, the board admitted they let their facilities go,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate that the board recognized that and supported capital plans.”
Justice supervises a staff of 40 and is responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the schools, he said. He oversees capital planning and capital projects, managing a $3 million facilities budget. He said he’s proud of the complex, “state-of-the-art” controls systems that he can operate remotely from home and of saving the district between $30,000 and $40,000 a year by using the sophisticated controls to “go off the grid” on peak electrical days.
In his current position, he earns just over $74,000 a year plus the use of a vehicle. His salary in Gorham will be $90,000 a year.
During his tenure in Scarborough, Justice has also come under fire at times from local officials, but he said that had nothing to do with his decision to accept a new job.
“I won’t miss the personalization that gets involved in the politics over here, but that is no way to be interpreted as why I chose to leave,” he said. “If that were going to drive me away it would have happened before now.”
Superintendent of Scarborough Schools David Doyle said Justice’s decision to leave is “a big loss for the School Department.” He called Justice’s experience with construction projects “invaluable” and said Justice has saved the department a lot of money.
“He’s done a great job; he has a broad range of knowledge and experience we’re going to struggle to fill,” he said. “He’s done a great service to this town and he’s going to be hard to replace. We’re going to miss him.”
The department has no in-house candidate to replace Justice, Doyle said. The School Board is revising the job description and plans to start advertising for the position shortly.
Justice said he wanted to thank the town, the taxpayers and the board and added that a friend had told him it was “almost like giving up your child.”
“It’s been an incredible experience,” Justice said. “I’m very proud of where I’m leaving Scarborough; I’m very proud of the quality of the facilities and the condition I’m going to leave them in.”
Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.