DEXTER, Maine — The new Ridge View Community School, which has drawn the towns of Ripley, Dexter, Garland and Exeter closer, was dedicated Saturday during an open house.
The new pre-kindergarten through grade eight school on the outskirts of town is expected to come in $2 million under its anticipated $30 million cost.
Its completion was hailed Saturday by those who devoted countless hours to the project, including John Parola, chairman of the SAD 46 board of directors.
“It’s a beautiful place,” Parola said Monday of the expansive school.
In addition to the public funds expended on the school, the project also benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars in private contributions.
Parola said Alfond family members, whose ancestor Harold Alfond founded Dexter Shoe Co., donated about $289,000 through the William and Joan Alfond Foundation to allow the district to expand the gymnasium to full size. The names of Joan and Bill Alfond, Kenden Alfond, Reis Alfond and state Sen. Justin Alfond, who attended Saturday’s dedication, are listed on a plaque in the Alfond Gymnasium.
In addition, the Plummer Memorial Foundation donated $100,000 for a fitness room and the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union donated the scoreboards for the gymnasium.
When the approximately 675 pupils begin school later this month, they will find an energy-efficient building that has radiant floor heat, a wood chip boiler backed up by an oil-fired system, and a sensored lighting system. That’s in contrast to their former aging and leaking circa-1950 middle school and its attached circa-1960 elementary school. The latter was so crowded its population spilled into several portable classrooms.
“The public should pat themselves on the back a little bit because they are the ones who voted to do this project,” Parola said. “We’re glad that this day was