CAMDEN — While the Town of Camden Select Board will meet with the Camden-Rockport School Board Aug. 9 to talk about the potential preservation and/or repurposing of the Mary E. Taylor brick building, immediately after, the school board will talk about the larger demolition of existing buildings and construction of a new school on Knowlton Street. Although the original Aug. 2 notice of the meetings noted that they would be neither televised nor streamed, on Aug. 9 an update arrived from the Camden Town Office stating that the joint Select Board and School Board meeting would be televised and streamed.
There was no clarification as to whether the school board meeting to be held immediate after would be televised, despite being held in the Camden Town Office Washington Street Conference Room, which is equipped with camera and broadcast equipment.
The $26 million new middle school project first requires hiring an owner’s representative for the construction process, and the securing of a contract with architects Oak Point Associates.
It also requires the cementing of a charter statement for the School Administrative District 28 Building Committee, which consists of citizens and staff appointed by Superintendent Maria Libby and the SAD 28 School Board. (See attached PDF)
And on Aug. 15, that SAD 28 Building Committee will meet at the Camden-Rockport Middle School library at 6 p.m. to discuss the role of the Camden Riverwalk (the pathway that is planned for alongside the Megunticook River from the Seabright Dam to eventually Camden Harbor), as well as the role of the committee itself.
Aug. 9 Camden Select Board and Camden-Rockport School Board joint meeting
The two boards will meet from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Washington Street Conference Room. The meeting has been a month in the making, since the Camden Select Board requested on more than one occasion to convene with the school board to talk about the community’s concern about tearing down the MET building, which was constructed in 1925.
On July 13, the school board tentatively agreed to hear ideas about saving the MET building after two hours of conversation at a special school board meeting held in the Camden-Rockport Middle School cafeteria. Approximately 30 citizens, including several Camden Select Board members, attended that meeting, where many told the board that the school board was obligated to allow time for proposals to percolate.
MET has been targeted for demolition as part of the entire tear-down of the existing Knowlton Street middle school complex.
The Aug. 9 agenda includes:
1. Introductions – 5 min
2. Purpose of Meeting: An opportunity for the two boards to discuss the relevant issues regarding the potential preservation and/or repurposing of the MET building. – 5 min
3. Understanding the community feedback about MET – 10 min
4. School Board - Conditions and Requirements for MET Redevelopment Proposals – 10 min
5. Common objectives & areas of differing needs & goals between Town and School District – 25 min
6. Town Process for Identifying Redevelopment Options – 10 min
7. Deadlines & Timeframes for Middle School Development and MET Redevelopment Proposals – 10 min
Aug. 9 SAD 28 School Board Meeting
Immediately following the joint select-school board meeting, the SAD 28 School Board will meet in the Washington Street Conference Room.
The agenda includes approving the Building Committee charter. That charter defines the committee as advisory to the school board, and directs committee members to work with Oak Pointe Associates architects and administration over the final design, bidding and construction of the new school and athletic fields.
The directives are to:
- Work effectively with Oakpoint (OPA) and construction professionals to secure the best
- project outcome possible.
- Balance costs, quality and scope to optimize long-term value and efficiency.
- Make fiscally responsible choices mindful of the potential impact to taxpayers.
- Maintain an open process throughout the final design and construction phase of the
- project, including live streaming meetings when feasible and posting all agendas and minutes.
The building committee is to consist of 10 voting members from the public. The members include two school board members (one from Camden and one from Rockport), one Camden Select Board member and seven community members from Camden and Rockport. In addition, Superintendent Libby, CRMS Principal Jaime Stone, SAD 28 Facilities Director Keith Rose and teacher liaison Ian McKenzie are to be included on the committee.
The Committee consists of the following members chosen by the Superintendent and School Board:
George Abendroth, Rockport resident and engineer
Marcia Dietrich, Rockport resident, school board member, liaison to board
Anastasia Fisher, Rockport resident
Will Gartley, Rockport resident and engineer
John Lewis, Camden resident and Knowlton Street homeowner
Emily LeBlanc-McConnell, Camden resident
Elizabeth Noble, Camden resident and school board member
Marc Ratner, Camden resident and Camden Select Board member
Joe Russillo, Camden resident, architect
John Scholz, Camden resident, architect
August 15 Building Committee meeting
The Building Committee will convene from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Camden-Rockport Middle School Library to address an agenda that includes
1. Status Check
2. Riverwalk Update with Geoff Scott, chairman of the Camden-Rockport Pathways Committee
3. Progress Going Forward
4. Role of Committee! Committee Charter)
5. Set Meeting Dates
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