Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District trustees were all about opening doors June 3, meeting face-to-face for the first time since March. Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Keith Laser said the intent is to open the schools in September, but there is no concrete plan to consider coming into the last leg of budget season. Laser said he has been spending time looking at other states' plans for reopening in the fall as Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin continues to form a plan.
Laser said there are some obvious things the CSD can do to prepare like budgeting for face masks, measures needed to keep students and staff six feet apart and for extra cleaning and hygienic supplies. Laser also said funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) – about $98,000 – will go toward easing any extra burdens on the budget.
“The commissioner and the DOE have done a magnificent job throughout this process. She's listening to superintendents, to anybody that reaches out to her with an idea on how we can do something and then shortly thereafter it comes out from either the governor, from the governor's office or the DOE. There's just a lot of moving parts on this thing.”
Demolition on Boothbay Region Elementary School’s interior and front doors began June 8 and front doors will start going in on June 20.
“They'll be doing one door at a time most likely down the K-2 wing. They'll take the time to frame doors in with plywood then the glass guy comes by later and installs the glass,” said AOS 98 Director of Transportation and Maintenance Dave Benner.
Benner said while the project will start at the main entry and go door by door, all materials are en route and everything has already reached Maine, so delivery should be soon and the project should go smoothly.
Concrete work will begin on June 15 and bids for a new generator at BRES are due to come in June 17, Benner added. “I'm pretty excited. Being in public safety my whole life and this school being an emergency shelter, we always really relied on it … I think that's huge for police, fire and EMS and local community members.”
Paving and roofing bids closed June 5 with no responses. Benner said the biggest issue with pavement – even though the project is split into five smaller projects – is finding a company that will take on a smaller project during the height of road construction work. “Crooker doesn't reply, Hagar doesn't reply – they're just too busy. They're in the middle of a season now where they just want to do big projects.”
Benner said three roofs have been budgeted that total 3,000 square feet, but the caveat with roofing projects is providing worker’s compensation insurance. “A lot of your local roofers don't carry it … If somebody falls and gets hurt and they don't have insurance, they're going to come back to the people with the big bucks and that's us.”