PARIS — The SAD 17 Board of Directors has authorized Superintendent Rick Colpitts to enter into a contract for leased space to house the Streaked Mountain School.
The vote at the March 5 meeting, allows the superintendent to enter into a contract with Dr. Terre Porter to lease 2,300 square feet at 66 Paris Street in Norway, across the street from the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The students are currently in a self-contained building on Main Street in Norway.
The new space would have to be approved as educational space by the state Department of Education before the move can be made.
The lease of the property to house the alternative school will cost an estimated $19,983 for the remainder of the fiscal year (ending June 30.) The money will come from the Contingency Fund, said SAD 17 Business Manager Cathy Coffey.
FY 2019 lease payments – which will be $27,000 per year and a portion ($2,300) of the real estate taxes, will be budgeted. The lease is $1 per square foot, per month, said Coffey.
The move will be made as soon as school officials get state DOE approval, and the go-ahead from the fire marshall’s office.
Coffey said the earliest the move would take place is April 1.
The decision to look into a long-term lease at another building followed a tour by the SAD 17 Finance and Operations Committee on Feb. 5. when some board member got their first look at the current space housing the Streaked Mountain School and were not impressed.
“My mouth nearly hit the floor when I walked inside,” committee Chairman Barry Patrie of Waterford told his fellow board members at a meeting in February. “It is in serious need of some very costly upgrades.”
Patrie told the committee at that time there are numerous issues in the building, such as the poor heating system and pipes freezing.
The 164-year-old building, once the Lower Primary School one-room school house on Main Street in Norway across from the Stephens Memorial Hospital, is divided into two rooms and used by about 20 students in the Streaked Mountain School program in the mornings, and about 10 to 12 students from the school and others individualized instruction programs in the afternoon.
The successful Streaked Mountain School program, which tailors curriculum to individual students who are unable to attain their full potential in large school environment, was started in 1994, when the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School opened an on-site alternative education program.
According to information from school officials, by 1998, there were discussions about finding an off-site property. The school board approved the idea several years later and the school opened in the Rowe Elementary School Annex around 2001, until its move into the current facility around 2009.