BATH, Maine — A new building committee will consider whether Regional School Unit 1 will renovate or replace Morse High School.
The 85-year-old high school ranks 11th on the latest state funding list, four slots down from Mount Ararat High School in nearby Topsham, and both schools have been approved for funding.
RSU 1 has formed a nine-person building committee, composed of three members each from the central office, school board and community, Superintendent Patrick Manuel said Dec. 3. He called the group a “kickoff committee” before additional panels are formed to provide additional community participation.
The building committee sent out requests for proposals from engineering and architectural firms, interviewed four, and last month selected Lavallee Brensinger of Manchester, New Hampshire, and Charlestown, Massachusetts.
A contract with Lavallee is being developed, and the school board is expected to hire the firm at its Dec. 15 meeting.
“The initial contract will be to do a ‘new-versus-renovation’ analysis,” which will involve a comprehensive study of the current facility and a recommendation on which direction to take, Manuel said.
The district will hold public meetings to share the firm’s report and hear input from community members on the future of the school.
The project comprises a 21-step major capital school construction process; RSU 1 is at the fourth step, selecting the firm, and the analysis guiding whether to renovate or rebuild the school is No. 5, Manuel said.
A local referendum, following the state Board of Education’s approval of the project concept, would be No. 13. Bonding, construction and a project audit comprise the final three steps.