The high school gym at the new Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus takes shape. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY REBECCA ALLEY

RSU 24’s new combined school will not affect staffing

SULLIVAN — All current Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) staff will remain employed with the district when it transitions to the combined middle and high school at the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus that is currently under construction, RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman told The American.

When students in grades 6 through 12 enter the new facility for the 2022-23 academic year, the district’s elementary schools will go from housing students in grades kindergarten through eight to kindergarten through five.

“Everyone will have a position, for sure,” Eastman said.

“We knew that we would need everybody that we have,” he said, noting the district may need to increase staffing for the transition.

Eastman and other members of the RSU 24 Charles M. Sumner Transition Leadership Team, the group of administrators and teachers who are organizing the big move, held an online forum Nov. 4 to answer questions from the community.

Only a few participants outside of the leadership team attended the forum and nobody asked questions.

During the forum, Sumner Memorial High School Principal JT Green shared digital images of the $44 million facility as well as photos of the construction’s progress.

RSU 24 Director of Curriculum Nikki Chan shared news about the artwork that will displayed at the new school.

In keeping with the 1979 Maine Percent for Art Act, the state has set aside $50,000 in the facility’s budget to purchase original works of art to showcase at the new campus. That amount, per the law that was designed to foster artwork in public buildings, is equal to 1 percent of the construction portion of the budget.

One piece that has been commissioned is by a Maine artist who is creating a large, hanging steel sculpture, Chan said. The structure will have pieces of acrylic and crystal dangling from it to catch the light from the building’s main entryway.

Four other pieces have been commissioned by a Franklin painter, one of which will pay homage to the current Sumner Memorial High School building, a fixture that Chan said will forever be important to the community.

Rebecca Alley

Rebecca Alley

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Rebecca is the Schoodic-area reporter and covers the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Trenton. She lives in Ellsworth with her husband and baby boy who was joyously welcomed in June 2020. Feel free to send tips and story ideas to [email protected]

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