February public forums planned for facilities study


ORONO – The first public forum for RSU 26’s district-wide facilities study will be held at an as yet unscheduled date in midwinter.

The study was announced late last summer. The idea for it initially arose more than two years ago, when the possibility of improving the athletic complex was broached. That led to talk of other possible improvements as well.

This fall, a committee was formed, which includes school staff, school board members, and others to see what possible priorities may be, what future demographics and trends may be, and how to pay for improvements. An architectural firm was hired to assist in the process, which is anticipated to take upward of a year.

Public forums to seek input from the community will be scheduled during the month of February, with those dates to be firmed up in February.

A facilities study last was done for Orono schools in 2006, when Orono still was in a school union with Veazie. Much of what was suggested then was waylaid, with a band-aid approach often needed in times of tight budgets. The last project of any size was the conversion of the old industrial arts area at the middle school more than five years ago. The only other major capital improvements of significance in the past ten years involved boilers systems at the schools.