EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — An Eagle Lake contractor will be paid $2.1 million donated by a Florida lottery winner and another $636,000 from the state to replace the roof of Schenck High School starting next month, officials said Monday.
Devoe Construction will begin work June 10. The firm will replace most of the school’s roof, the auditorium and gymnasium floors, and upgrade bathrooms in the classroom wings to make them compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, AOS 66 Superintendent Quenten Clark said. The work is expected to be completed in October.
“He understands that the main part of the job is the roof over the classrooms and offices,” Clark said Monday. “He will have an extra two months and go into October to finish the gym and auditorium. We need at least one available at all times.”
East Millinocket native Gloria MacKenzie donated all but about $636,000 of the approximately $2.7 million job from her Powerball winnings last year. She came forward with the winning $590.5 million Powerball ticket on June 5, collecting a lump sum of $370.9 million that totaled $278 million after taxes. The donation was finalized earlier this year.
The $636,000 is the state’s portion of the work on the school, which also houses K-4 students in the Opal Myrick Elementary School wing. Clark admitted to feeling “a little bit of amazement” at the work about to start.
“We have been trying to find a way to do this, and there have been all kinds of complications, but here we are ready to go,” he said Monday. “Who would have thought?”
“I am happy we got here, but I will be even happier when it is done,” Clark added.
East Millinocket School Board Chairman Dan Byron said he also was pleased.
“Hopefully we will have a nice building when we get all done,” he said.
Until MacKenzie’s donation, townspeople had wrestled with the problem of the school’s leaky roof and somewhat decrepit condition for much of 2012 and 2013. The roof repair itself wasn’t as problematic as declining state aid and shrinking school population, which left some Katahdin region leaders wondering whether public education was still feasible.
Byron said he hoped the renovated building would become more of a community center, within limits.
“I feel that the school belongs to the town, so townspeople should use it,” Byron said. “Understanding that there is declining enrollment, we are hopeful we will get more students in.”
Students will attend school for several Saturdays to allow the work to begin June 10, Clark said.
Devoe bid about $400,000 less than Bowman Bros. Inc. of Newport and Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer to win the contract, Clark said.