PRESS RELEASE – February 5, 2015:
HIGH SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECT LAUNCHED IN RSU 1, NEEDS COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
Are you a resident of Arrowsic, Bath, Phippsburg or Woolwich? Do you care about the quality of high school education in our community? Are you willing to share your skills and abilities as we plan, design and build a facility for the twenty-first century?
With state approval finally granted, our regional school district has selected a Building Committee, hired a design firm and is embarking on the process of building new or completely renovating Morse High School. The original building, home to area students and the most active alumni association in the country, was built in 1928 and dedicated just weeks after the stock market crash that launched the Great Depression. The "new wing" of the building was added in the 1960's, when John Kennedy was President and television was the new technology.
"We have the opportunity to build a school worthy of the region and of the fine education that our students receive at Morse. A school is more than a building, it is more than a curriculum, it is a community of learners and teachers preparing people for life," said Regional School Unit 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel." In addition to the members of the Building Committee, I invite all community members to engage with us in this process of creating the best facility where this preparation can happen."
The members of the Building Committee are:
Steve August is a Bath resident and vice-chair of the Board representing District 5 (Bath and Phippsburg). He is a retired legislative budget director with public financing experience.
Deb Clark, a resident of Phippsburg, is the Business Manager for the district. She is an alumna of Morse High School.
Debora Keller lives in Bath and has served on the district Facilities Committee. Deb is the director of the Bath Housing and she has three children in the school district.
Patrick Manuel is the Superintendent of Schools for RSU 1.
David Matero is a Bath resident and a local architect. He has one child that attends school in RSU 1.
Bill Perkins, a Phippsburg resident, serves as the District 7 (Phippsburg and Bath) representative for the Board. He is a retired educator and coach.
Dave Richards is the Facilities Director for the district.
Steve Singer, a Bath resident, is a retired educator and currently works as a law enforcement official.
Alan Walton is a Board member from Bath who represents District 6 (Arrowsic and Bath). Alan is a retired educator who worked for many years in the Bath schools.
Superintendent Manuel said, "There will be plenty of opportunities for students, teachers, parents of RSU 1 students, alumnae, employers and community members to serve on sub-committees, take part in community forums and advise us on our process. I welcome their interest and ask them to call me at my office to learn more about how they can get involved. My phone number is 443-6601."
The Maine Department of Education requires districts to follow certain steps when they approve state supported building projects. The first step that has already been completed is the selection of a design firm to provide architectural and engineering services. Lavallee-Brensinger Architects based out of Manchester, New Hampshire were chosen by the building committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
The next step in the process is to advertise a bid for a possible site, as required by the state. At the same time, Lavallee-Brensinger Architects are conducting an analysis of the existing Morse building and site. With all information in hand, a decision will be made whether renovation or new construction will best serve the needs of our students and community.
"We are building a new school but we are also providing our region with a state of the art meeting facility and community resource. We are looking forward to hearing from our community about what our needs are and working together to meet them,” Manuel said.