The Northern Penobscot Tech Region III high school building in Lincoln will undergo a $2.33 million renovation starting late next spring thanks to voters in 25 of 28 northern Penobscot County towns supporting the project in a 602-271 vote.
With only a handful of towns not yet heard from, Region III Director Al Dickey felt comfortable Wednesday saying that with 69 percent voter approval, the project would go forward.
“It looks like there’s real solid support from those who voted,” Dickey said. “We are extremely pleased by this.”
School officials have said the work will cost the member towns a total of $19,281 annually for 15 years thanks to the federal stimulus bill, which will supply an interest-free $2.33 million bond that will pay for the work.
The plan calls for closing two 35-year-old steel buildings in Howland and Lee and building a two-story, 12,000-square-foot addition to the 87-year-old Lincoln school, Dickey has said.
Besides two new shop areas and five classrooms, the renovation will give the Lincoln school energy-efficient windows, LED lighting and R-50 insulation in its walls and ceilings, said Foresight Engineering of Lincoln owner Ted Ocana, whose conceptual designs helped shape cost estimates.
That should create annual savings of $22,000 in heating oil and $15,000 in electricity, officials said.
The renovation will leave the region with one consolidated, energy-efficient building and replace the outdated and inefficient Howland and Lee structures, Ocana has said.
The federal stimulus funds will supply the interest-free bond to front money for the work, with Region III repaying it over 15 years.
Under the plan, school officials will start looking for an architect within the next three weeks. A building contractor search will begin once plans are completed.
“This is perfect timing,” Dickey said. “Winter will be the perfect time to line up everybody to do the work next year. We are hoping to do a lot of things with local contractors.”
If all goes well, the energy-efficiency work will happen first starting in late spring, with the addition being built starting next summer and finishing a year later, Dickey said.
“If we can put in the energy-efficiency materials, we will save about $30,000 next winter. That will be our next budget, so we want to do that as quickly as we can,” he said.
As of Wednesday:
East Millinocket 42-33
Lowell, not in yet
Macwahoc Plantation, not in yet
Reed Plantation, no votes
Seboeis Plantation 5-7
Webster Plantation, not in yet