June 25, 2018
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Construction plans for Brewer school feature visible 50-year time capsule

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — A time capsule will be part of the new Brewer Elementary-Middle School campus, but it won’t be buried.

The capsule will sit behind thick glass with the words “do not open until 2061” engraved on the front, Superintendent Daniel Lee said recently.

“We’re going to open it in 50 years,” he said.

Children, who will walk through the new school’s doors for the first time in the fall of 2011, will decide what goes into the container.

“The kids are going to have to work on that,” Lee said.

The time capsule will be put into an east corridor wall near the library entrance, “behind heavy glass etched to identify the time capsule and opening date,” draft minutes from the July 27 new school building committee meeting states.

The new pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school will have separate wings for the different age groups with shared areas in the middle of the building for areas such as the cafeteria and media center or library.

Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer is building the new 156,000-square-foot school with WBRC Architects-Engineers of Bangor creating designs. The massive school will have 71 classrooms, house up to 1,050 students and will include a $2.6 million performing arts center and adjacent eight-lane outdoor track.

Once complete, the new two-story school will be the largest elementary-middle school in the state. It will replace four aging elementary schools and Brewer Middle School, all built between 1926 and 1962.

During its July meeting, the building committee decided to purchase a 30-inch-by-25-inch-by-13-inch container from Heritage Time Capsules of Williamsville, N.Y.

One reason they decided to put the capsule on display is that a time capsule hidden when the Pendleton Street School opened more than a half-century ago was never found, Lee said.

The Pendleton school time capsule was supposed to be hidden behind a ceiling panel, but it was never recovered, he said.

Plus, having the time capsule visible to students probably will lead teachers to ask their students 10, 25, 35 or 45 years from now what they think is in it, Lee said.

There is one thing Lee is sure will be placed inside the moisture- and air-sealed capsule — a copy of the Bangor Daily News.

“There is no question about that,” Lee said. “The question will be about which edition.”

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