After Requesting it More Than 13 Years Ago, Augusta, Maine Elementary School Will Be Replaced
An Augusta, Maine school and one in Pittsfield are officially going to be completely replaced after waiting more than a decade for approval. Much of the funding of these upcoming projects is thanks to Maine's Major Capital School construction program.
According to an article published in the Kennebec Journal, Maine's State Board of Education approved the measures earlier this week to replace both the Manson Park School in Pittsfield and the Lillian P. Hussey School in Augusta.
The KJ reports that this major funding program is 'highly competitive' and, every few years, re-ranks Maine schools that are the most in need of a complete overhaul or total replacement. The funding program is designed to help schools that wouldn't otherwise be able to afford an entire replacement.
Augusta's Lillian P. Hussey School was first constructed in 1954 and the Manson Park School in Pittsfield was built back in 1945. State education officials say that both schools are in need of a complete replacement.
The Kennebec Journal reports that the State tries to approve as many schools as possible for funding each year, without exceeding the state's allotted budget for the projects. The paper reported that the state's overall budget allocated to school replacement in 2024 will be about $150 million- that fiscal year began in July of 2023.
Though the projects were approved, it will still be some time until the projects reach their completion. The Manson School in Pittsfield is expected to have a location and plan for the new school submitted by 2025. The Hussey School has until 2026 to make those decisions.
Scott Brown, director of school facilities for the Maine Department of Education, told the Kennebec Journal in part,
“There are 74 applicants on the list, currently, so if you look at it, usually around nine to 12 are funded, so around 28, almost 30%. So 30% (of schools) on the list have been addressed. That’s pretty significant, but I would say that the cost of projects has recently, and will continue to, limit the amount of projects,”
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