RUMFORD — Regional School Unit 10 directors, administrators and Building Advisory Committee members discussed design plans for a new school with architects Wednesday at Mountain Valley High School.
The district proposes to build a school for prekindergarten through grade 8 students at the site of Meroby Elementary and Mountain Valley Middle schools in Mexico. The school would house students from Rumford and Mexico elementary schools and the middle school.
Superintendent Deb Alden said Thursday the Maine Department of Education will consider the request for approval of the site, “probably in July.”
Four staff from Harriman architects in Auburn invited the group, including 15 others online, to share their ideas. The firm’s representatives shared slides of other schools’ interior and exterior designs and stressed the importance of creating classrooms and other spaces with an eye toward furniture and window placement that encourages learning through movement and sight.
Some ideas to think about, they said, are open spaces for children to perform and interact with each other and a secure and welcoming entryway.
RSU 10 personnel were asked to come up with words or phrases that capture the essence of RSU 10 and the new building.
Jill Bartash, principal of Rumford Elementary School, offered “the hub for the community, (because) it provides so many resources.”
Ryan Casey, principal of Mountain Valley Middle School, said, “the evolving communities is important to recognize because we wouldn’t be sitting in this situation if it weren’t for changes and growth in the communities.”
Others suggested a school that has a small-town school feel, inviting, aspiring, collaborative, safe and secure and warm and welcome. Others said it’s important that the design embrace the environment and provide a connection to the outdoors.
If voters approve the project — at the earliest in November — it would likely begin in the spring of 2023 and take more than two years.