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New middle school rises on Knowlton Street

Public tours offered this month; fundraising campaign announced
By Susan Mustapich | Aug 06, 2019
Photo by: Susan Mustapich The foundations, steel structures, and a portion of the concrete sub-floor, electrical and plumbing systems, and insulation are in place at the new Camden-Rockport Middle School building on Knowlton Street.

CAMDEN — As the new Camden-Rockport Middle School on Knowlton Street shapes up, early morning and evening tours for the public have been set up for Aug. 26.

The tours will be held at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and reservations are required, as there is a maximum of 12 slots for each time. To reserve a tour, call Robin Fagan or Wendy Brown at 236-3358.

The 83,400-square-foot building is set behind the existing middle school building, which will remain operational through the 2019-20 school year. The current middle school building will be demolished in summer 2020, with classes to begin in the new building in August 2020.

Construction workers were busy July 31 at the site pouring the cement slab sub-floor for the school cafeteria. Others applied cementitious fireproofing coating to the steel support structures, a requirement in new buildings of this size.

The building's steel structural supports are in place, as well as some building systems, including under-slab piping in the gymnasium and kitchen areas. The three-story classroom wing at the back of the site has exterior insulation and sheathing in place, and slab flooring inside. Work on windows, wiring and drywall for classroom walls is underway.

The estimated completion cost for the new school is $28.1 million. Ledgewood Construction won the bid to construct the building, with a low bid of $5.8 million over the anticipated budget. In June 2018, 568 residents attended a special meeting and voted 4 to 1 for a financing package to close the funding gap. The package drew on existing capital reserves, the use of $3 million in bond premiums, and the transfer of other funding into capital reserves, including a deferred first payment of $1.3 million on the $25 million bond.

Also in June 2018, the MSAD 28 board approved $1.8 million in cost reductions recommended by the administration, architects, contractors and building committee members. Board members voted to add back in the $500,0000 cost of a sewer thermal heating system, which transfers heat from the wastewater treatment plant across the Megunticook River to the school's heating system.

Private fundraising underway

A private fundraising effort seeks to raise $510,000 from individuals, businesses and organizations for features of the school campus that support arts and sports activities and the new playground.

The Take-a-seat! Campaign was announced Aug. 5, to raise funds for lighting and sound upgrades for the school's new 226 seat Bisbee theater, a redeveloped field for softball and field hockey, playground equipment and a professional art installation for the entrance area of the school.

Tax-deductible contributions ranging from $250 to $1,000 purchase a plaque on a seat in the theater. Plaques may be inscribed with up to 20 characters in honor of friends, family, or another special person in the donor's life, the name of the donor as a sign of support and involvement with CRMS, a business or organization, or a favorite quotation.

Take-a-seat! Campaign contributions, and seat selection can be made online or by visiting the SAD 28 administration building at 7 Lions Lane, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A side view of the front of the new Camden-Rockport Middle School, which currently faces up against the existing school building. The gymnasium structure begins to the left of the pitched roof. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
The steel supports outline the new gymnasium structure. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Looking towards the front entrance inside a main corridor of the new Camden-Rockport Middle School building, the existing brick school building can be seen. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
Work has begun on the ballfield at the back of the Camden-Rockport Middle School property. The wastewater plant across the Megunticook River, seen in the background, will generate heat for a sewer thermal system that will supply heat to the new school. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
This drawing by Oak Point Associates of the new Camden-Rockport Middle School shows how it will look from Knowlton Street. This view of the new construction is currently blocked by the existing school building. (Courtesy of: Oak Point Associates)
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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Aug 07, 2019 14:07

What a wonderful architectural rendition. It certainly will enhance the neighborhood and instill pride in the students who attend.

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever

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