MSAD #1 is presenting for consideration by the voters of Castle Hill, Chapman, Mapleton, Presque Isle, and Westfield a $15 million dollar bond that would convert Presque Isle Middle School into a PreK to 8thgrade school. This bond funds a 30,000 square foot addition on PIMS, new playgrounds, new parking, and a better driveway system to accommodate more staff, buses, and parents. The reason it works is that it avoids: an estimated $11 million dollars over the next 15 years to maintain facilities, leaves the District with zero dollars in bonded debt in 15 years, focuses our efforts on State Construction Funding for a new High School in approximately ten to 15 years, and reduces the total footprint of schools by 50,000 square feet.
Over the next 15 years the bond will achieve a minimum savings of $2.9 million dollars or about $200,000 per year. The bond has an initial cost but within 5 years it saves money. Year 1 it would increase costs by $423,000, by year 5 it saves $278,000 per year, and by year 15 it saves over a half a million dollars per year. Further, the District would have no bonded debt by year 16 and the District anticipates the annual savings will be $1.9 million per year.
Three facts are vital to understanding why this proposed bond makes sense. First, Pine Street Elementary School needs a new roof. A local, commercial roofing contractor suggested we have engineers evaluate the structural integrity of the roof for a new membrane. Engineering costs just to evaluate the roof were $20,000 but one company shared a memo that summarized that if structural improvements were needed it could cost $1.8 million dollars. The District then hired Oak Point Associates to look more closely at Pine Street and they shared the capital needs of Pine Street for the next 5 years were $4.1 million, which included a new roof and other smaller repairs. Second, MSAD #1 applied to the Maine Department of Education for State funding and although we didn’t score high enough for a State funded project, Presque Isle High School was 21stmaking it a strong candidate for a reapplication in about 10 years. Third, with declining enrollments and limited revenue, reduction of our footprint and building costs will allow the remaining funds to be used on educational needs of students, not buildings.
The District respects and appreciates all your opinions. We recognize that this is a very difficult situation. We share in your concerns and the evaluation of such a big decision. No matter what the outcome we are thankful to all of you for taking the time to review this bond. Please consider all the information at www.sad1.org on the bond and right-sizing, ask us questions, attend the final public hearing on October 29that 6:30 pm in the PIMS auditorium, and take the time to vote on November 6th, 2018.
Superintendent of Schools