Informational meeting on middle school architectural study set for Oct. 24
Camden — A public information meeting on the progress of a architectural study of Camden-Rockport Middle School will take place at Thursday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. at the school.
Functionality, efficiency and best meeting the needs of students are three major points Maine School Administrative District 28 school board members already have identified as focal points to architects creating ideas on how to best transform Camden-Rockport Middle School.
Superintendent Elaine Nutter said the school board hopes the study will make clear how to use the building as a middle school — it previously housed students in elementary school — and make sure changes will meet the needs of the students. She added changes to the building will allow for better use of space and improve infrastructure.
The issue of energy efficiency is also at the top of the list of priorities, according to Nutter.
“Currently the buildings are heated with oil,” she said. “The building is so far flung as it is, not to mention that we are heating spaces that are not even being used. We need to have a design that is more efficient and more options for long-term savings that can be directed back in to education.”
Oak Point Associates of Biddeford was hired to complete the study. The study is expected to include analysis of the site to determine its ongoing suitability as a middle school campus, development of a new site plan including any proposed facility additions or demolitions and to assist in developing educational specifications to meet state standards and district needs.
The study also will create a plan for traffic patterns in regard to safety during student drop-off and pick-up. Office space requirements also will be considered.
Energy efficiency, sustainability and security, in addition to a timeline and cost estimates are also part of the study.
The entire building has been measured and accurate floor plans have been developed to allow Oak Point to construct a three-dimensional model. Other pieces of the study already in the works are mechanical and electrical field work, elevations and safety components.
On a recommendation by Oak Point, the district has formed a building committee with members of the community that have a range of backgrounds and experience that would be helpful for the completion of the project. Anyone interested in one of the remaining seats on the committee can contact the superintendent’s office for more information.
“We want to work very closely with the town on this project,” Nutter said, adding Camden Town Manager Patricia Finnigan has agreed to participate on the committee.
“It only makes sense to be pro-active about including the town and it will benefit both sides to work together,“ Nutter said. “We will be working in coordination with the planning board on things like the river walk project that will be part of the campus and the traffic study that will be completed.”
SAD 28 Director of Maintenance Keith Rose said the existing building needs quite a bit of work in some areas, but for the most part, there is a lot to work with.
“The building is structurally sound,” Rose said. “The brick work needs to be re-pointed on the outside and some other modifications made over the years need to be looked at but for the age of the building it is still in pretty good shape.”
Previous reports state the original Camden Grade School was constructed in 1925 and shortly thereafter was renamed Mary E. Taylor School. In 1950, a 1,600-square-foot space was erected to house the school’s gymnasium, lockers and boiler rooms. The next addition was completed in 1955, which contained several classrooms and science labs.
The two buildings were connected in 1962 with the addition of another educational wing between the cafeteria and the gymnasium. This section of the building is known as the Andrews wing. Two more additions were built in the ‘60s, including the industrial arts wing, and in 1980 the mini-gym and additional classrooms were added.
In 2000, four other major projects were completed. Those projects included a second 2,400-square-foot connector between the Andrews wing and the gymnasium. An elevator was installed in this connector and old locker rooms were converted into storage space. New locker rooms were built on the gymnasium level where a stage use to be.
Courier Publications reporter Dwight Collins can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
(207) 236-8511 ext. 303
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