DEXTER — SAD 46 directors are moving forward with plans to either renovate Dexter Middle School or build a new facility.
The present school does not have sufficient space, is inadequate for programming needs and has structural problems, according to SAD 46 Superintendent Lester Butler.
Space needs are such that six classrooms are in portable units, according to Dexter Middle School Principal Jan Breton. In addition, the library is in a portable unit and a middle-school class is held in the adjacent primary school, she said.
Breton said some really good things are happening in the classrooms, but the faculty recognizes that the inadequacy of the building affects programs such as art and music. "The building is just very old and tired," she said Monday.
Funding for new construction or renovation of the existing middle school has been assured since the Department of Education placed the project on the protected list for school funding. Just how much will be available will hinge on the final plans, Butler said.
Directors have been researching the district's middle-school needs, such as what the physical plant would require, enrollment projections and how best to proceed, according to the superintendent.
Before the award of any state funds, a feasibility study must be done and informational meetings and public hearings must be conducted. Butler said school officials will be working throughout spring and summer on the project and will work to get comment on any proposal.
"It will be at least a year before we actually get to the point of beginning renovation or construction," Butler said Monday. "It's a long process."
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