Oceanside High students to be greeted with new features

By Stephen Betts | Aug 31, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts The new well lit cafeteria is nearly twice the size of the former cafeteria at Oceanside High School.
Rockland —
Oceanside High School students will see many new features in their building when they arrive next week.
There will be a new cafeteria about double the size of the old one. A new kitchen and separate serving area are also ready to serve students. A new entrance and lobby, with new administrative offices and additional individual restrooms are also up and running. The lower level of the school has new locker rooms, an exercise room and weight room that are well lit.


Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent John McDonald said he is pleased with the results as the construction project nears its end.

The road leading to the school from Broadway has been paved. The parking area also has been paved and when construction is completed, there will be more parking spaces.

The bus loop by the new main entrance will be done within three weeks. McDonald said all work should be completed by the end of September and an open house will be held, perhaps in early October.

When students enter the new main entrance, the administrative offices will be on the immediate right and the new cafeteria on the left.

There are seven individual bathrooms a little further down on the left in the lobby. This will not only serve students but the public when there are activities at the gymnasium or auditorium. The number of bathrooms for the public for events is more than triple what had previously been available.

The former administrative offices are being converted to three classrooms. That work is still ongoing.

The superintendent pointed out that the tile work done by the Paul White Co. throughout the lower level includes a lobster design on a hallway wall. That design work was included in plans for the original high school built in 1962, but was never installed.

The architects and contractors made full use of natural light on the lower level, making it a much more welcoming place than previously.

The school also recognizes history. A large framed plaque with the names of Rockland people who served in the military during World War II had previously been located in the lobby by the main entrance, but now has been moved to the wall alongside the auditorium, which means it will be seen by more of the public.

McDonald said other historical memorabilia that is now stored at the South School will find a place in the new high school.

The superintendent pointed out that the new serving area in the cafeteria can be used by boosters or other groups when the kitchen is closed. The cafeteria also sports counters along the wall with outlets for students to plug in their phones or other electronic devices while standing. "We took a page from commercial cafes," McDonald said.

Cobblestone pavers will be installed outside the new main entrance over the next few weeks.

A small grassy plot by the bus loop has also been designed for the new home of the memorial to former students and staff who have died.

The completion of the high school project will be the final part of a $23.2 million bond issue approved by RSU 13 voters in February 2017. That bond also paid for the new Ash Point Community School in Owls Head, and renovations and additions to Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston.

McDonald said once the project is complete, the district will seek to replace the remaining windows that were not done a few years ago.

In addition, he said he expects the district to launch a capital fundraising campaign to replace the seats in the auditorium and the floor of the gymnasium.

Oceanside has a student enrollment of nearly 500.

The first day of school at the high school will be Wednesday, Sept. 4, for freshmen and Thursday, Sept. 5, for upperclassmen.

Comments (5)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Sep 01, 2019 18:20

Stephen Betts,

Is the plaque still there on the wall of the auditorium?  The plaque with everyone's name on it when the High School was first built?  My grandmother was apart of that.


Posted by: Kathryn Fogg | Aug 31, 2019 12:45

Beautiful but cobblestones at main entrance? Ladies with stilettos beware and elderly with canes hold tight.   Are they putting railings up for people to hold on to?

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Aug 31, 2019 11:29

You know Steve, we have to keep up with Camden schools.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 31, 2019 10:25

Sorry next time I will reread the story before I run my mouth. I have confused one palatial retreat with another.  We have so many beautiful new schools it is difficult to keep them straight.  After all what's a few million amongst friends.  So now we have spent millions on a new cafeteria for a school with half yes half as many students they had when the school was first built.  We have beautiful tiles and a freshly paved parking lots, but I understand we need new seating in the audoritium and a new gym floor.  Shouldn't that take priority over the other things.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 31, 2019 10:15

Students and guests will enjoy a beautiful view of an ugly parking lot while they enjoy lunch in the expansive cafeteria and do not fear if nature calls because the school has included three times the necessary bathrooms.  While on the back side facing beautiful owls head harbor students will attend classes and not be distracted by the view as the chalk board and seating face away from the beautiful harbor views.  But that's OK because the architect has cleverly placed giant steel beams crossing the many windows to obstruct any views one may have of the harbor.  Reading this piece it appears no expense has been spared in design to ensure this is a palatial retreat.  Even an ivory tower has been erected for the board members to convene and make edicts on their subjects.  Strangely no mention of the "school" and classes offered.  A brief mention of the kitchen, but none of the automotive or welding shop and what will be offered there.  I suppose people do not want to be bothered with such trivia.

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