MATTAWAMKEAG, Maine — SAD 67 school officials will meet with residents Tuesday in a special session to discuss whether to close Dr. Carl Troutt School, Superintendent Michael Marcinkus said Wednesday.
Closing the pre-kindergarten to fourth-grade school at 41 Graham St. next year, Marcinkus said, likely would save the SAD 67 school system about $350,000 initially.
“The actual savings that will come into play is that it will cost a lot less to run the school system without [Troutt] next year, plus we will have some savings in subsequent years,” Marcinkus said. “I won’t have to be concerned about carrying through upgrades to the school.”
The school system’s population has remained steadily at or near capacity for several years, but Troutt is an old school with an old heating system that burns a great deal of oil, Marcinkus said. Heating oil costs might have declined, but the school system remains “locked in” to a price, he said.
It’s estimated that replacing the system, plus upgrading other parts of the building that need it, would cost about $700,000 by 2015.
Also, Maine Department of Education officials and the state government have shown an unwillingness to fund school systems at previous levels. A cut expected this year projected at about $80,000 has school officials concerned about program losses and potential layoffs.
Installing portable classrooms at the pre-kindergarten to fourth-grade Ella P. Burr School in Lincoln and sending the approximately 55 pupils that attend Troutt to Burr would be much less expensive than the renovation work, Marcinkus said.
The SAD 67 board of directors has discussed the issue, according to meeting minutes, but not made any decisions. Members have asked Marcinkus to formulate an exact cost-savings with the plan, which he will share at the meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, he said.