CAMDEN — School Administrative District 28 Superintendent Maria Libby has presented an update on the new Camden-Rockport Middle School, currently under construction on Knowlton Street. The $32 million project will continue through the next year, with doors to open to students in September 2020.
Unfortunately, we have continued to experience a lot of wet weather this spring, making it that much more challenging to get ahead of schedule.
We have had rugged crews working in the rain, however, and have made a lot of progress the past six weeks. Most of you have probably noticed the huge crane that has been on site recently. That was brought in to erect the steel trusses for the cafeteria, admin wing, and gym. All the steel will be erected by the end of next week and the crane will leave the site.
The academic wing continues to make great progress. The garden level is ready for drywall, although the contractor is going to wait for drier weather. The first and second floors have almost all the wall framing done and the rough in for electric and plumbing has started. Wall framing has moved past the academic wing and framing in the band and chorus rooms has begun. Once the drywall begins, taping and painting will follow pretty quickly. In the meantime, crews will continue to install the roof and frame the front half of the building. The steel structures currently in place provide a great visual of the exterior walls of the building. You can clearly see the shape of the front face of the building – the big cafeteria windows and angled roof of the entrance readily identifiable. The last slab to be poured will be the gymnasium. We have about 50 construction workers on site right now and expect up to 80 once they are able to begin interior finishes.
JBI, the contractor doing earthwork, has started working on the new baseball field. They are mixing the loam with sand to get the right composition and are spreading and seeding it already. This will allow over a year for the grass to take root, although it may not be ready for soccer yet the fall we open. Work on the playground will begin this summer, hopefully enabling the grass to take root enough that we can open the playground for the start of school in 2020.
As the building has been taking shape, a number of us have been busy trying to raise funds for items not in the budget, including playground equipment, lower athletic field renovation, theater lighting and sound upgrades, and a granite sculpture. Our goal is $500,000 and now there is a way anyone in our community to help with this effort. We are launching our “Take-a-Seat” Campaign at the MSAD 28 school board meeting on June 19. We will be selling seats in the newly named Bisbee Theater, the 220-seat theater in our new middle school. Each donor will get an inscription on a brass plaque that will be secured on the seat’s armrest. This will be the last chance in generations for your name, your favorite quote, your children or grandchildren’s names, whatever, to be etched into one of our schools. The seats will be variably priced, at either $250, $500, or $1000. Stay tuned for more information about this fundraising campaign!