DEER ISLE — The committee tasked with raising $1.3 million for high school renovations plans to send out an appeal letter and recruit volunteers to knock on doors.
The Community School District 13 Board (Deer Isle-Stonington) on June 4 approved a capital campaign to raise funds to make needed renovations and repairs to the Deer Isle-Stonington High School building.
“Any money raised will reduce or, in best case eliminate, the need to float a bond and raise taxes to complete the work,” School Board Chairwoman Jane Osborne said. “So while it may be unusual, we are hopeful about the effort.”
Voters were asked and overwhelmingly agreed in a Jan. 29 referendum that they wanted to keep educating high school students on the island and in the high school building.
The building, which belongs jointly to Deer Isle and Stonington, requires roof repair and other work. As one possible cost-saving option, the Future of Our Schools Committee had proposed moving high school students into the elementary school building, but voters favored keeping the high school.
In lieu of including renovation costs in the regular education budget, school officials decided to try to raise the money instead.
Osborne said during a number of public meetings people referenced the campaign that financed the building of the Reach Performing Arts Center.
That center, which is a 400-seat theater, is located in the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School.
“It was thought that there may be similar enthusiasm from community members around raising money for the renovations,” Osborne said.
School Board member Skip Greenlaw echoed Osborne’s explanation.
“Several people suggested that we might consider raising money for the renovations outside the tax structure,” Greenlaw said.
To that end, the board’s capital campaign committee has a goal to raise $1.3 million by Jan. 30.
“Right now we’re in the process of writing an appeal letter with a contribution card,” Greenlaw said. That mailing will go to all property owners on the island.
“Then we’re forming a large group of people who will go out and knock on doors to try to raise some money,” Greenlaw said.
The committee will also do an advertising campaign in the Island Ad-Vantages.
The School Board approved $5,500 for the printing and mailing of the letter as well as advertising costs, according to Greenlaw.
If anyone is interested in helping to fundraise, contact Greenlaw at 460-1260.