BUCKSPORT — Repairing the football field is top priority as officials look to spend the remaining balance of the $1.5 million approved for Bucksport High School renovations.
“As you saw at the end of the year, we were playing in mud,” Bucksport Superintendent Jim Boothby said at a March 4 School Board meeting.
Carmichael Field has drainage problems and its turf is worn.
In addition, one of the field’s four light poles toppled in a wind storm last year, revealing that the base of the pole was rotted. School officials would like to examine the structural integrity of the remaining poles and possibly replace all four.
One estimate for replacing the poles and installing new light fixtures was around $150,000. Boothby said he is now considering wooden replacement poles and transferring the existing lights.
The School Department will receive some insurance money toward the cost of replacing the fallen pole.
Boothby has met with town councilors, BHS Principal Bob Doar and School Maintenance Supervisor Gary Moulton to discuss possible capital improvement projects at the high school.
The School Department has hired George Hanson, a structural engineer on the town’s Planning Board, to investigate how far the $400,000 can stretch.
Officials would like to have enough money left over after repairing the field to renovate bathrooms in the high school’s gymnasium lobby area. The bathrooms are not handicapped accessible.
The high school’s glass block entryway is also an area officials have eyed for future repairs. The glass is drafty and not energy efficient.
Architect firm Oak Point Associates estimated fixing the problem would cost $8 million. Boothby said he hopes to find a cheaper solution.
In other business, the School Board discussed the busy transition into a regional school unit. Boothby has spent many days in Augusta and expects many more during the transition.
“We don’t have a choice — to do this properly we have to do it this way,” he said.
For more details pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.