June 19, 2018
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SAD 4 votes to transfer ownership of schools to Parkman, Guilford

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

GUILFORD, Maine — SAD 4 directors have voted to transfer ownership of the McKusick Elementary School in Parkman and the Guilford Primary School in Guilford to the respective towns where they are located.

District residents voted in November 2009 to close the district’s two last stand-alone elementary schools and consolidate the pupils onto the high and middle school campus. In September, pupils through grade six will be consolidated into Piscataquis Community Middle School, and pupils in seventh and eighth grades will be educated in Piscataquis Community High School.

While directors have agreed to transfer the ownership of the school buildings, it will be up to residents in those two communities whether to accept them, according to SAD 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns. He said Wednesday that school officials have met with municipal officials in both communities on the matter.

The town officials are considering the benefits or hazards of accepting the properties before they make their recommendations to residents at town meeting, he said.

Stearns said the transfers would not be made until fall, allowing the district time to relocate the school furniture.

Should Parkman and Guilford residents reject the properties, Stearns said, the district would become the landlord and it could lease the buildings or sell them.

Directors also recently voted to end the ITV system, an interactive video system, used by adults for access to higher education classes. The system was installed at a time when there was no Internet service or postsecondary college in the county, according to Stearns.

Stearns said the technology is outdated, enrollment in the system is low, and the cost far outweighs the revenue. He said many adults are having their distance learning needs met through the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative, online, or through the Penquis Higher Education Center.

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