GUILFORD, Maine — The last two stand-alone elementary schools in SAD 4 will be closed and the pupils consolidated onto one campus after approval of the plan during a referendum Tuesday.
SAD 4 officials will close the McKusick Elementary School in Parkman and the Guilford Primary School, effective June 30, 2010, and will move the pupils into the Piscataquis Community Middle School. The two schools were the remaining elementary schools in the district after earlier consolidation efforts closed elementary schools in Abbot, Sangerville, Cambridge and Wellington.
“The board realizes that it is extremely difficult to close facilities that have been such an integral part of the community fabric for so many years,” SAD 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns said in a statement. “The board also recognizes, however, that these actions are necessary in order to reallocate scarce financial resources from operational costs to program costs that benefit students.”
Since both schools educated districtwide pupils, the closings required a districtwide vote. While Cambridge and Parkman residents on Tuesday rejected closing the schools, residents in all the other towns approved the move. Had residents in each of the towns voted to keep the schools open, they would have remained open.
SAD 4 residents also on Tuesday approved up to $611,000 in renovations to Piscataquis Community High School, including roof replacement, and voted to allow the district to borrow up to $600,000 to help cover the costs. The remaining amount needed will be taken from a reserve account previously established for school building renovations.