Capital campaign for DI-S high school repairs launches

DEER ISLE — A $1.3-million capital campaign will be launched to fund needed high school building repairs, School Board member and Treasurer Skip Greenlaw announced in a press release.

The Community School District 13 School Board voted April 24 to approve the campaign, Greenlaw said. The funds raised will “offset the cost of capital improvements and renovations.”

Residents voted Jan. 29 to keep educating high school students on the island and in the existing Deer-Isle Stonington High School building, which is aging.

Higher than average per-pupil high school education costs — $24,000 per high school student in 2016, according to the Maine Department of Education — prompted the district to explore options for secondary education.

Greenlaw said a capital fund would be an alternative to taking out a bond for the work or increasing property taxes.

Union 76 Superintendent Christian Elkington said the $1.3 million is a “target amount.”

Elkington said it is too soon to know the exact figure for repairs because the board needs to decide if the projects will be done all at once or within a certain time frame.

“If needed, we will be looking at the potential for a bond, which the voters will need to approve,” Elkington said.

Greenlaw said a newly formed Capital Campaign Committee intends to finish fundraising in less than a year — by Jan. 31, 2020.

Greenlaw said volunteers are needed. Anyone willing to solicit contributions should call Greenlaw at 460-1260.

“We need many community members to become involved to accomplish this ambitious goal,” Greenlaw said.

A committee of parents, educators and community members formed the Future of Our Schools Committee in 2018 to examine education costs and other issues.

Greenlaw said that committee did a study, which came up with the $1.3 million estimate for needed renovations.

One of the bigger projects at the high school is that the soffits — where the roof meets the siding — need to be replaced, the School Board member said.

“An updated facilities study will be completed in the next few months to provide a more current assessment of project costs,” Greenlaw said.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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