SKOWHEGAN – Maine School Administrative District 54 is searching for a site for a new school in Skowhegan.
Since 1954, the North Elementary School has stood tall, originally serving students in Pre-Kindergarten to fourth grade, but after being qualified for the State Capitol School Construction program, it was time for something new.
“All the schools in the district around the state submitted the approvals, and we were on the list. It would of been the end of the spring of 2019,” said Jonathon Moody, superintendent of MSAD 54.
Due to the coronavirus, the selection process for the school site slowed down a little.
Moody said with the help of the architects, school board and the district’s building committee, they were finally able to meet last fall.
“It’s really the site selection process goes to a town hall type forum where we will do the hearing, share what’s going on, we will have a vote, and then it will go to the state board of education,” said Moody.
Moody said they ruled out a couple of sites due to environmental factors and size.
One of the sites currently being eyed is the Margaret Chase Smith School.
Moody said in order to use this location, the new school must be adjacent to the school.
“We found out it is a possibility to use the school. We were able to work with the town on the something called, ‘6F Conversion.’ That is the conversion of recreational land set aside by the federal government to another site so that we can use that site as part of the school,” said Moody.
Moody said they’re early in the site selection process, but if everything goes smoothly, students could be in the new school by the fall of 2024.