June 24, 2018
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Lottery-funded construction projects nearly finished at East Millinocket high school

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Construction of the new roof at Schenck High School, funded by an East Millinocket native’s donation of a portion of her lottery winnings, should be nearly finished by the start of the new school year Sept. 12, officials said Tuesday.

The $2.4 million replacement of most of the school’s roof, the auditorium and gymnasium floors, and the upgrade to the bathrooms in the classroom wings to make them compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act is about 80 percent complete, said project director Ed MacArthur, clerk of the works for Lewis and Malm Architects.

Aside from the gymnasium, which is still undergoing roof replacement, the school will be ready for students and staff when school resumes, Superintendent Quenten Clark said.

“They have about two months of work to be done, but the school part of the job should be operable,” Clark said Tuesday.

“It’s going great,” MacArthur said. “It’s a lot of work in a very short period of time.”

The school looks anything but finished. The sidewalks in front of the shared main entrance to Schenck and the connected Opal Myrick Elementary School, which houses kindergarten through fourth grade, were still torn up as of Tuesday. The new ADA-compliant ramps had yet to be installed.

Large patches of sky were visible through the roof of the bathrooms near the school gym, and new steel supports still peeked through gaps in the ceiling tiles of the main hallway of the Hichborn wing. Clutter still lined the hallways, with some distended wiring and un-tiled hallway bathrooms yet to be repaired, and large stacks of insulation enclosed in white plastic lined a back parking lot.

Only the auditorium is completely finished, and it is likely gym classes will be held there until the work is finished in November, Clark said.

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.

Gloria MacKenzie hasn’t visited the school since the work started, but two of her children, Mindy and Larry, are part of the roof building committee, Clark said.


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