PARIS — Some SAD 17 directors say it’s time to close the door of the 164- year-old Streaked Mountain School house in Norway.
The full board is expected to hear a proposal at its March 5 meeting on what it would cost to move the students and staff from Streaked Mountain School in Norway to a new facility.
The decision to look into a long-term lease at another building followed a tour by members of the SAD 17 Finance and Operations Committee on February 5.
“My mouth nearly hit the floor when I walked inside,” said Finance Committee Chairman and Waterford Director Barry Patrie of his first visit to the building located on lower Main Street in Norway across the street from the Stephens Memorial Hospital. “It is in serious need of some very costly upgrades.”
The building is one of half a dozen original one-room school houses that once dotted Norway’s landscape. Built in 1854, it was known as the Lower Primary School. It was one of the few buildings on Main Street to escape the inferno of 1894 that destroyed much of the downtown’s Main Street.
The school, which is now divided into two rooms is 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 who come over in the afternoon for individualized instruction.
Patrie told the committee there are numerous issues in the building such as the heating system and pipes freezing.
“It’s just antiquated and I don’t think it is suitable for the two programs,” he said.
The committee is looking at Dr. Tere Porter’s former optometrist building at 66 Paris Street in Norway, as a possible place to lease. The 23,000- square- foot building is located diagonally across from Rite Aid at the four-way intersection by the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High school on Route 26.
SAD 17 Business Manager Cathy Fanjoy said Tuesday that she is putting together a financial report for the committee that will be presented in March. She said officials are looking at a long-term, possibly five year lease.
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 program to further help those students who had trouble learning in a large school environment. 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.