New School Behind Schedule

ELLSWORTH — Work on the new elementary/middle school is behind schedule, but officials say it’s too soon to tell whether that will affect moving students in this fall.

“It’s too early to tell,” said Ellsworth Interim Superintendent Katrina Kane. “We’ll make a Plan B when we have to make a Plan B, if we have to make a Plan B.”

The $36.4-million project involves renovating and expanding the existing middle school. Students in grades six through eight were relocated this school year to accommodate construction.

Last month, the School Committee approved plans to moves grades four through eight into renovated portions of the new school this fall. That could prove difficult if the construction timeline is not met.

At a Feb. 26 meeting of school and town officials, owner’s representative Carl Lusby said it was difficult to determine just how far behind the project has become.

A combination of factors, including unexpected repairs and additions, has slowed the project.

The first phase of construction is due to be completed Aug. 1.

Moving students in this fall would allow the School Department to cut costs by closing the Bryant E. Moore School.

The city has eyed the building for possible use as a public safety building.

Despite scheduling concerns, the footprint of the new school is quickly taking shape. The frames of the entrance and two elementary wings are now erect.

Crews inside are installing schoolwide mechanical systems and renovating spaces due to be used by students this fall.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]