By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - Selection of an architect to design a new middle school is expected to be made next month.
Interviews with six of 13 architects chosen by the local architect selection committee will begin next week. Site visits will be made of projects designed by the architects before the selection, according to SAD 46 Superintendent Lester Butler.
"The district is excited about the middle school project and meeting the educational needs of our students," Butler said Wednesday. "We feel that this process is working toward what is best for our students and the community."
SAD 46 consists of Dexter, Ripley, Garland and Exeter.
The district had placed 24th on a priority list for new school construction but was bumped up to the protected list for funding in January. That advancement came because the state received a good rate of interest on bonds, which provided more construction funds, according to Butler.
The current middle school building was constructed in 1950 and, although structurally sound, is overcrowded, has air-quality issues, structural deficiencies for programming and is not cost-effective to operate, Butler said.
District residents have been asked to help the school board with the project. Butler said he has had some response but others are encouraged to participate.
There are seven committees open for participation: public relations, site selection, programming and space needs, business systems, technology, moveable equipment and athletic fields and grounds. Anyone interested in serving on one or more of these committees should contact Butler at 924-5262.
In addition to discussing the school construction project, directors in recent action hired Timothy McCluskey as assistant principal and athletic director at the middle school at a prorated salary of $37,000.
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