RSU 3 approved for $1.2M in loans and grants for school renovations
Projects approved for funding
Walker Elementary School: Elevator for handicap accessibility to second floor ($341,120); fire suppression in bathrooms and second floor bathroom accessibility upgrades ($41,426); new classroom egress, fire alarms and fixes for other fire safety code violations ($126,430); new air handling unit and controls ($47,075); classroom ventilation improvements ($38,736)
Morse Elementary School: Elevator ($314,880); new powered exhaust system, classroom unit ventilator dampers and a supply fan and ducting to bring classrooms into compliance with standards for ventilation and indoor air quality ($42,771); new air handling unit and motorized exhaust fan for ventilation ($39,005); new audio and visual fire suppression system, classroom egress and emergency lighting to address fire safety code violations ($41,695)
Monroe Elementary School: Basement egress, accessibility upgrades for bathrooms, classroom workstation, and art room workstation ($61,445); smoke detection, fire alarm system replacement, fire alarm audio and visual devices, mezzanine fire separation, emergency lighting and kitchen exhaust fire suppression ($107,366).
Troy Central School: Fire alarm system, fire alarm audio and visual devices, sprinkler system, emergency lighting and other improvements to address fire safety code violations ($62,005)
Regional School Unit 3 will receive an interest-free $1.2 million loan for school renovations, of which nearly $800,000 will be forgiven if towns approve the debt in a referendum May 9.
The Maine Department of Education's School Renovation Revolving Loan Fund supports projects that ensure students have a “safe, healthy and appropriate learning environment,” and is itself funded through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank.
Each loan awarded is partially forgiven at a rate that ranges ranges from 30 percent to 70 percent based on the percentage of state subsidy paid to the school district. RSU 3's forgiveness rate of 63 percent would leave the district to pay back approximately $464,000 over 10 years, at $46,438 per year, beginning in 2018-2019.
Loan payments go back into the revolving fund for future school renovation projects.
The state program prioritizes projects that address health, safety and compliance issues first, other building structure improvements second, energy and water conservation projects third, and upgrades of learning spaces fourth.
RSU 3 had 12 of the 22 projects submitted in its application approved for funding. All those approved were first-priority projects.
With voter approval of the loan, Walker Elementary School in Liberty is expected to receive $595,000 and Morse Memorial School in Brooks $438,000 for elevators and other renovations related to safety, accessibility, and indoor air quality. Monroe Elementary School is allocated $169,000 for safety and accessibility related projects, and Troy Central School will receive $62,000 for safety renovations.
A public hearing to discuss the renovation projects will be held Monday, May 1, at 6 p.m. in room M111 at Mount View High School, and a referendum vote for final approval will be conducted Tuesday, May 9, in all RSU 3 towns.
Editor's note: RSU 3's loan applications were received from the Department of Education after the paper went to print. This story has been updated with the specific renovations for which the district was awarded funding.
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Jordan Bailey has been working for The Republican Journal since 2013. She studied philosophy at Boston College and has experience in marine science education and journalism. She lives in Belfast.
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