The contract to renovate the Mary E. Taylor building was recently awarded to the low bidder, Ledgewood Construction, who was also the contractor for the new Camden Rockport Middle School. This project, which involves renovations to the building, will begin immediately and progress in earnest for the next year.
Last year, the Camden Rockport Schools school board began discussion about potentially changing the name from the Mary E Taylor School to something else. This discussion stemmed from the fact that the building will become an administrative building instead of a school building, so its use will be different. It is being given a new life, and with that comes an opportunity to reconsider a name. The building will be used for multiple purposes. It will serve as the Central Office for both the Five Town CSD and Camden Rockport Schools and will provide much needed district storage (records, etc.). In addition, it will house the high school’s alternative education program, Zenith, and the daytime adult education program.
The school board began to discuss the potential of renaming the building again last week at its board meeting and all members are open to that idea. The name under consideration is “Rose Hall.”
Like many worthy district employees of the past who have been fortunate enough to have their legacy etched into a building for a period of time, this name does the same.
Keith Rose, who has worked as the Facilities Director for 20 years, has left a legacy of his own in our districts. His commitment to environmental sustainability is manifest throughout our districts. He has brought us international recognition by giving us a reputation for sustainability efforts. He was behind the wind turbine and solar panels at the high school, the geothermal at the elementary school, the solar farm that will provide nearly 90% of the district’s electricity at a reduced cost, and the sewer thermal at the new middle school.
More than that, he has taken care of our grounds and athletic fields by using a mostly organic integrated pest management system, and he has facilitated composting in our school cafeterias. Keith personifies “yankee ingenuity.” He has saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars by reusing, repurposing, and salvaging old parts of one building’s systems to fix another’s. He has developed deep and lasting relationships with staff, local contractors and tradespeople, and just about everyone he comes into contact with.
These are the reasons the board and district administration support a name change to honor a contemporary hero.
To some, Rose Hall may sound like a college dorm name. We considered Rose Building, Rose Center, etc., but determined that Rose Hall simply flows the best and sounds the best. We understand that some people may not want to break from tradition. The school was named after Mary E. Taylor’s retirement in 1957 and the building has honored her for more than 60 years.
With a coming renovation and changing functionality for the building, we feel it would be a good opportunity to honor someone from this generation as the building enters its next century of life.
We intend to install a plaque inside the building honoring all the principals who served in the building while it was a school, where Mary E. Taylor would top the list, so she would not be forgotten.
Growing up we were told that we will be the future of this town. Now that day has come, and we would like to honor a new hero of our time and we are seeking the community’s support. The school board will continue this discussion and potentially make a decision, at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, November 18, at 7 p.m. in the CRMS cafeteria or the Zoom link that will be provided on the board calendar.
Maria Libby is superintendent of SAD 28 (Camden-Rockport K-8) and Patrick McCafferty is chairman of the SAD 28 Board of Directors.