The last informational meeting about the district’s plan to build a new school in Monmouth that had been scheduled for Monday was canceled following power outages caused by severe wind and rain during the morning, Regional School Unit 2 Superintendent Bill Zima said.

There was no power at Monmouth Middle School as of noon Monday, and Principal Melissa Burnham-Barter said she’s been told the areas near the school are in “rough shape.”

Zima said he planned to make sure the voters in RSU 2 — which includes Monmouth, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Richmond and Dresden — know that the school’s $26.2 million construction cost is being fully funded by the state. The ballot question will go before voters Nov. 7.

The new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school would replace aging and deteriorating Monmouth Middle and Henry L. Cottrell Elementary. The state would pay to build the school, and the district would take over the maintenance and utility cost once the construction was completed.

The unnamed consolidated school would operate more efficiently, Zima said, and the district estimates saving 75 percent in maintenance costs and 40 to 50 percent in fuel costs.

The two existing schools have a total of five furnaces, but the new school would have only one, representing a significant reduction in cost and a more efficient operation. Zima said the district was lucky to receive the earmarked funds from the state.

The proposed school would be built on land next to Monmouth Academy, and it would include softball, baseball and soccer fields; a playground; increased staff and visitor parking; and modern classrooms.

The existing Monmouth Middle School was built more than a century ago and has sloped floors and an inefficient and expensive heating system, Zima said, and students must walk through a locker room to get to some classes.

Monmouth Middle houses grades four through eight and was built in stages, starting in 1855 with the old Monmouth Academy building. The most recent wing was built in 1989, when Monmouth Academy moved across the street.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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