MEXICO — A hearing on the proposed $91.8 million school for Mexico and Rumford elementary and middle school students is set for 6:30 p.m. June 1 in Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.
Voters in Regional School Unit 10 will decide June 14 whether to approve the project at their respective polling stations in Mexico, Rumford, Roxbury, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover.
The school is planned for the site of Mountain Valley Middle School at 58 Highland Terrace and Meroby Elementary School at 21 Cross St., both in Mexico. It would replace those schools and Rumford Elementary School.
About 98% of the cost would be paid by the Maine Department of Education in subsidized bonds. The state decided in October 2019 to fund most of the project, after Rumford Elementary School was ranked third out of 78 applications to qualify for replacement. Mountain Valley Middle School and Meroby Elementary School scored 27th and 38th, respectively, on the state’s list of schools qualifying for new buildings.
The building design by Harriman architects of Auburn includes one-, two- and three-story sections with a center section for a library, a gymnasium, a cafeteria and possibly a music area, architect Lisa Sawin told the district board of directors this year.
The school would have space for up to 1,050 students and for children with disabilities from birth to 5 years old. Plans include a health clinic in partnership with Rumford Hospital and an early childhood education program run by Region 9 School of Technology staff and students.
A $1.16 million wellness and fitness center will be a separate question on the June 14 ballot because it’s not funded by the state. The district is applying for financing and grants to cover the estimated cost.
“We have started the Mountain Valley Wellness/Fitness Committee to work on the organization and funding of this endeavor,” Superintendent Deb Alden and Buildings, Grounds and Transportation Director Scott Holmes said in a recent community newsletter. The district has applied for federal funding through U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden.
If voters approve of the project, construction will likely begin next spring and take more than two years.