Discussions continue on recreation center
by Janet Schultz
Tuesday night, the Lewiston Porter Board of Education received the proposal for phase two of the capital project from Steve DiMatteo, of Gordon W. Jones Associates Architects.
The proposed $26 million project includes putting an addition on to the high school that will house a new eight-lane swimming pool, and putting a small addition to the entry way of the auditorium area to serve as the main entrance for the high school.
"Security is the main reason for the reconfiguration of the auditorium area," said Superintendent Christopher Roser.
The main offices of the high school would move to that area, providing a more secure entrance for students and visitors to the campus. It will also provide for refurbishing and upgrading of the auditorium area including the music and choral areas, along with a new orchestra room and upgrades to the audio-visual and public address systems.
The move of the main office will allow for the relocation of two science rooms on the first floor to the math and science wing on the third floor.
There will also be a reconfiguration of the bus drop-off area and parking for the high school staff, which would also serve as parking for the athletic fields and events in the auditorium.
Many of the items in the proposal will not be as visible as new additions since the work includes upgrades to electrical and plumbing systems, new doors and windows.
Roser explained to the board that there would be no increase in the tax levy for this project with funding coming through the state.
In an update on the recreation center proposed by the Town of Lewiston, Roser told reporters that the negotiations are still going on and he feels they are on track.
"We are required by law to sell the property to the town at fair market value," he continued. "By law we cannot give it to them."
The property is worth $9,000 per acre on the high end and $2,500 per acre on the low end. Roser and the board chair Jodee Riordan feel that the $5,000-per-acre asking price is fair, but still negotiable.
The other issue that was raised in a recent meeting was Lewiston-Porter's use of the building.
"We are addressing that," Riordan said. "Our athletic director is putting together a list of events, times, etc., that should answer any questions the Town Board may have."
"We are doing our due diligence according to the law," said Roser. "We want the community to know that we are working with them and not trying to do anything that would stop the project from happening."
"It's a good move on both parts," Roser said.
"We think that the front of the school is a great place for the building," concluded Riordan.
In other board business, a donation of $8,450 from the boys and girls track and field teams was received and will be used for the purchase of track and field equipment and new uniforms.
Upcoming are budget workshops on March 5, 12 and 26 and April 9. A "Meet the Candidates Night" will be held May 8 followed by a budget hearing on May 14. The annual district budget vote and election of board members will be held May 21.