SULLIVAN — Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) came to an agreement with its general contractor, Nickerson and O’Day, on March 7 to complete the water cistern project at the new middle/high school.
The cisterns will provide water for the fire sprinkler system at the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus, which currently does not have a sufficient water supply.
“We had negotiations yesterday with Nickerson and O’Day, and we did come to an agreement,” said RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman on March 8. “I am waiting for the proper document change orders to be created and signatures on it before I can release it.”
Until the agreement is signed, it is too early to come up with an official timeline for the project, but in a letter written to parents on March 1, Eastman said that the goal for completion is now mid-May.
Work had previously been halted on the cistern project due to the lack of an agreement, but in the meantime Eastman said that contractors were still working on other aspects of the school building to bring them to completion.
“Nickerson and O’Day and CHA [Architecture] continue to work on the punch list items,” Eastman said.
In his letter to parents, Eastman also discussed the possibility that graduation, which is set for June 8, may not be able to be held in the school building if the cisterns are not complete by then.
“As of today, I am hopeful that we will be able to celebrate graduation festivities in the new school but I cannot yet confirm this until an agreement is reached with Nickerson O’Day,” Eastman wrote on March 1.
A backup location for graduation has not been officially chosen by RSU 24, but various options are being looked at just in case the school cannot accommodate the general public by that time.
“The committee from the school has met to discuss graduation location possibilities,” Eastman said. “There are a couple of spots in the community that they are looking into.”
An off-site location has already been decided upon for prom, which will be held at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor.
The final dates of the school calendar were also finalized on March 7. The late start to the school year due to building complications raised concerns over how long students would need to continue into the summer. After consulting with the Maine Department of Education, Eastman announced at the March 7 RSU 24 Board meeting that middle and high school students will be finishing the school year on June 21.
Reporter Malachy Flynn covers news on the Schoodic beat, which includes the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Sorrento, Sullivan, Trenton, Waltham, and Winter Harbor. He also reports on the town of Tremont on Mount Desert Island. He welcomes tips and suggestions. about stories in the area.