Discussion begins on renaming Mary E. Taylor building

Camden-Rockport School Board OKs $4.1 million MET repurposing contract

Thu, 10/22/2020 - 9:30pm

    CAMDEN — Voting unanimously Oct. 21, the Camden-Rockport School Board approved signing a $4,130,815 contract with Ledgewood Construction, of South Portland, to renovate the Mary E. Taylor building. Bids for the project had been opened Oct. 20, and Ledgewood’s base bid, one of eight, came in $140,339 less than the next lowest bid that had been submitted by The Penobscot Company, with headquarters in Rockport.

    At the same meeting, the board began a conversation about changing the name of the former middle school building, constructed in 1925, beginning with a suggested new name of Rose Hall, in honor of the retiring Maintenance Director Keith Rose.

    While the board members each spoke highly of Rose, and said they weren’t opposed to changing the name of the school building to reflect a more contemporary community citizen, they also agreed that the public needs to weigh in on the idea.

    They voted unanimously to rename the Mary E. Taylor school, yet to be determined. And, the board agreed to present the renaming intention to the public for a community conversation.

    School Administrative District 28 Superintendent Maria Libby told the board, which convened for its meeting in the new Camden-Rockport Middle School on Knowlton Street, that the bid opening for the MET project was “very exciting.”

    “We had eight contractor bids,” she reported. “Coincidentally enough. Ledgwood is the lowest bid.”

    Ledgewood is the contractor that won the bid for constructing the new $32 million middle school, finished just at the beginning of the 2020 School Year.

    All the bids included three alternates, which added costs for windows, sidewalks and electric duct heaters.

    “Tomorrow, people will be mobilizing to start the project,” said Libby.

    The base bids included:

    Ledgewood Construction, $4,130,815

    The Penobscot Company, $4,271,154

    Benchmark, $4,300,000

    Ganneston Construction, $4,410,450

    Sheridan Corp., $4,427,951

    Blane Casey, $4,435,045

    Bowman Constructors, $4,529,520

    Lajoie Brothers, $4,560,835



    At the Oct. 21 meeting, Libby also opened a discussion about renaming the MET building. She said the topic was back on the agenda for a second time since Spring 2020.

    Does the board want to change the name of the building, she asked. If so, toss around some possibilities.

    “ The time is upon us to make decision about the name in the next few months,” said Libby.

    She told the board that she had suggested in 2019 to rename the building Rose Hall, in recognition, “of all the work Keith Rose has done in our district.”

    Rose, who is has been maintenance director for more than a decade in SAD 28 and the Five Town CSD, is retiring, she said.

    The name, Libby said, flows nicely and the front of the building would be accented by rose bushes.

    “It [the building] has a new life and new use,” said Libby. 

    Buildings change names when their functions change, she said.

    Board member Marcia Dietrich, of Rockport, noted Rose’s contributions and achievements, both at the high school, with its myriad energy problems addressed soon after it opened in Year 2000, and the other school buildings in the districts.

    Other board members, however, said the renaming would represent a two-part discussion, and not to be resolved at that Oct 21 meeting.

    Chairman Patrick McCafferty said that while he was a traditionalist and attended the MET school himself, he also understood the impetus for change.

    For 100 years, the building honored a powerful administrator, he said, “and honored her well.”

    But, he added, he would not be opposed, “to honoring someone in our generation, especially one who really pushed us on the path of sustainability.”

    Likewise, other board members said they did not have strong opinions. One suggested ensuring that a affixing plaque inside the new MET dedicated to Mary E. Taylor would be a good ida.

    “I’m absolutely in favor in renaming it,” said board member Peter Orne.

    But, he said, doing it at the Oct. 21 meeting, “seems rushed.”

    The board then agreed on the motion to rename it to a different name, yet to be determined.

    “It’s so dear and important to the community, and we would not want to move forward without giving the community a heads-up,” said McCafferty.

    Libby said the district would write an announcement to the community, “to reveal the intention of the board and allow people to respond.”


    Related stories:

    Mary E. Taylor School site plan review documents submitted to Camden Planning Board

    Next steps for Mary E. Taylor building

    Camden and Rockport say yes to renovating, repurposing Mary E. Taylor School

    Camden, Rockport voters consider fate of Mary E. Taylor school building: Save or raze?

    POSTPONED: Camden-Rockport School Board to consider $322,000 change order for building project

    Camden, Rockport voters approve middle school financing package

    Camden-Rockport holds June 11 meeting for middle school construction financing, secret ballot voting

    Rockport Select Board issues letter about Camden-Rockport Middle School financing

    Camden Select Board issues letter on Camden-Rockport Middle School financing

    Rockport Select Board schedules emergency meeting to address middle school construction bond

    Camden-Rockport School Board to 'value-engineer' (cut features) of new middle school

    Construction bids for new Camden-Rockport Middle School 26 percent over what's budgeted

    Camden-Rockport school engineers take harder look at heating with municipal wastewater

    MET Repurposing Committee gets down to work in Camden, aims for November referendum

    Camden-Rockport School Board to put future of MET back before voters

    Camden-Rockport School board opposes selling MET, warms to leasing the building

    Camden-Rockport School Board to discuss MET repurposing proposal Jan. 10

    Camden-Rockport School Board faces full January agenda: site plan review, construction cash flow, MET ideas (REMOVES ROCKPORT SELECT BOARD LIAISON, NOW WHAT NEXT?)

    Real estate developer submits proposal to repurpose Camden's Mary E. Taylor school

    SAD 28 chairman tells Rockport Select Board member to step off school Building Committee

    Citizens appeal to Camden, Rockport select boards about school bond process

    Camden Planning Board chairman recuses himself from new school review

    Camden Planning Board consider zoning changes to accommodate new middle school height

    Maine Preservation places Camden's Mary E. Taylor School and Waldo Theatre on its Most Endangered list

    Heating Camden's new middle school from town's sewer plant: What's the cost and can it be done?

    Owner's representative hired for new Camden-Rockport Middle School construction

    UPDATE: (Will be televised, streamed) Camden-Rockport school board powers up for Knowlton Street overhaul, rebuild

    Give community a chance to brainstorm about MET before tear-down, citizens tell school board

    Camden Select Board hopes to meet with school board Thursday evening over MET future

    Future of Camden's MET building to be discussed at two board meetings, municipal and school

    Maria Libby on middle school project planning and Mary E. Taylor School 

    Supporters of new Camden middle school rally for June 13 polls; residents question need for MET demolition 

    Camden-Rockport Middle School building project forum tonight

    The future of Camden's Mary E. Taylor School. Tear it down? Lease it to another entity?

    $28 million Camden-Rockport Middle School project proceeds to vote

    Opinion: Camden Rockport Middle School project examined

    Letter to the editor: School board responds to Camden Planning Board project concerns

    Camden Planning concerns about middle school project

    Camden-Rockport leaders skeptical of $28 million middle school project

    Read about the March 20 forum: Camden-Rockport board endorses public straw vote: Tear down, rebuild middle school

    What to do with Camden-Rockport Middle School: Tear down, renovate, rebuild?

    Camden-Rockport Middle School concepts floated: ‘Everything in pencil’

    Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at lyndaclancy@penbaypilot.com; 207-706-6657