The Winslow building committee tasked with consolidating the town’s schools is presenting a progress report to the public after voting on a design that will cost slightly less than $10 million.

The committee is holding a presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 15, in the auditorium at the Winslow Junior High School. The school is providing free babysitting in the gym during that time so that parents can attend.

School superintendent Eric Haley said school officials and the committee hope residents are better informed after attending the meeting.

“Some people have been following it very ardently,” Haley said, but others have been waiting for this public meeting.

The town will vote on the project in the November 2017 referendum.

In August 2016 the Winslow School Board voted to expand the high school to house seventh- through 12th-grade students and renovate the elementary school to house kindergarten through sixth-grade students.

The board also voted to close within three years the junior high school, which would be too costly to repair.

Stephen Blatt, who runs Stephen Blatt Architects in Portland, is designing the project for the committee and has helped the school apply to the state for an alternative build, which the school has won. They are still in the process of hiring a project manager.

In its last meeting on June 1, the committee voted unanimously to approve a design that will cost $9.74 million to construct. After factoring in a possible demolition cost of $650,000, the total budget hits $10.39 million.

The town council has voted to distribute a request for qualifications for the building to see if a private company would like to take on the project of renovating the building, alleviating the town of the demolition cost.

The budget includes renovating both the high school and elementary school, as well as new construction in the high school to accommodate the influx of seventh and eighth graders. The final design includes new classrooms and support spaces, an expansion of the auxiliary gym and expansions in the food service and cafeteria areas.

It also includes a performing arts center that will seat 600 and cost just over $2 million.

The estimated annual payment for a 30-year period would be about $617,000, Haley said, two-thirds of which would be covered by debt relief and cost savings.

Haley estimates they will save $247,426 annually in operating costs when the junior high school is closed. The town and school are also retiring $167,417 in debt payments that could be used for the project.

Combined, that would cover $414,843 of the annual payment, or about 67 percent.

The town’s tax rate would increase by about $0.32 per $1,000 of assessed value, according to information provided by Haley.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

 


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