WINSLOW — The school board voted 4-1 at its meeting Monday evening to reinstate the prior building committee, directly opposing a proposal from some town councilors.

The councilors’ suggestion came after a referendum question asking residents to support a school bond of $10.33 million failed Nov. 7. The bond would have paid for renovation and expansion at the elementary school and the high school, as the district pursues a plan to close Winslow Junior High School and merge grades six through eight into the others.

Because the bond failed, Councilors Ben Twitchell and Jerry Quirion proposed forming a new committee to work on a new plan and explore other options.

However, the two councilors involved in the previous building committee — Patricia West and Raymond Caron — and others who attended that council meeting spoke against that proposal, which they said would slow the process down. They supported sending the matter back to the more-than-20-person building committee, which knew the most about the issues.

The school board had the sole authority to dismantle its current building committee and form a new one, as it authorized the creation of the first committee.

The school board opened the motion to reinstate the previous committee for discussion, but the councilors who supported forming a new committee gave only brief statements.


“I was the one that was leading the charge against the $10.3 million, but now it’s the time we start working together, …” Quirion said. “Let’s get to a point where we can respect each other.”

Councilor Ken Fletcher, who also supported the idea of a new committee, said he thinks “compromise is not a bad word.”

Some members of the community spoke in favor of the prior committee and parts of the previous proposal.

“I won’t vote for the bond if it doesn’t include an expansion in the fine arts wing,” Jack Nivison said.

School board member John Ferry voted against the motion because it kept the same members on the committee, leaving it unclear as to whether incoming school board members could be a part of it.

He also wanted to speak more with the Town Council and try to find a compromise, if that meant the second bond would have a better chance at passing. Ferry also felt more Winslow residents should have been part of the committee, he said.


The board also voted 5-0 to authorize the superintendent to create a plan to dissolve its district, Alternative Organizational Structure 92. The district is considering dissolving so it could pursue forming a regional service center in Waterville, which could lead to financial incentives from the state.

However, many of the details are not yet clear.

Peter Thiboutot, the acting superintendent, will create a plan for the potential dissolution and bring it back to the board for approval.

If the plan is approved, it will go to a referendum in the spring.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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