February 21, 2018
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Medway weighs improvements to middle school

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MEDWAY, Maine — Having overseen about $1.1 million in improvements at Medway Middle School since 1999, school committee members now want to improve school ball fields and replace a portable classroom, board Chairman Greg Stanley said Thursday.

D&S Engineering Inc. of Millinocket is preparing engineering, surveying and cost estimates for possibly enlarging the parking lot and the soccer field area to include softball and baseball diamonds. Field drainage also would be improved, Stanley said.

“We are looking at a baseball field on one side, a softball field on the other with soccer in the middle, and at the same time we do it, we want to install drainage,” Stanley said Thursday. “The idea is to do it, do it right and be done with it.

“There’s a lot of water there that needs to be drained off,” he added. “We have had times in winter where we get lots of rain there. It gets soggy, and it can get to a point where it can [possibly] do damage to the school.”

D&S will help board members determine whether the work is affordable. The company is due to discuss its findings at the committee meeting in January or February.

“We would like to get [cost estimates] done as soon as possible so we can see if we can do the work this spring,” Stanley said.

Located at 70 Spring St. in Millinocket, D&S offers engineering and project management services for all project phases from studies through construction, commissioning, and startup, according to its Web site, dsenginc.com. Company officials did not immediately return a telephone message left Thursday.

Doing all of the field and parking lot expansion and drainage work simultaneously likely will be most efficient, saving money and field wear, Stanley said. Replacing the portable classroom with a permanent building addition, possibly near the school cafeteria, makes more sense than putting money into a portable, he said.

It also would be consistent with the piecemeal but cost-effective and efficient approach advocated by a 1999 engineering study done on all Union 113 schools whose recommendations the Medway board has followed, Stanley said.

New roofs, air handlers, a new gym floor, new lighting, heating systems and underground oil storage tanks, among other things, have been installed at the school since 1999 in accordance with study recommendations, Stanley said.

Not doing the work in stages over many years might result in town taxpayers facing one big repair bill instead of a lot of smaller ones, he said.

“It’s a very good facility,” Stanley said. “I don’t know if it’s state of the art, but she’s not old hat.”

The Medway School Committee oversees the education of 214 town students as part of Union 113, which governs the public schools of East Millinocket, Medway and Woodville, according to the Web site for the Augusta-based Maine School Management Association Web site, msmaweb.com.

This year 542 students are enrolled in Union 113, according to the site.

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