March 20, 2008


MEETING NOTES                                                                             

These notes were prepared by Megan Welter / Steve Bailey to the best of their understanding.  If you find any inaccuracies, please contact the Superintendent of Schools Office at 871-0555 within one week after receiving the notes.

Present:  Tom Blake, Suzanne Godin, Megan Welter, Polly Ward, Kathy Germani, Gene Swiger, Ellen Benson, Randy Martin, Carrie Hall-Indorf, Jeanne Crocker, Molly Aldrich, Ralph Baxter, Jr., Dan Cecil and Steve Bailey

  1. Welcome and introduction of newly appointed members (Tom Blake and Eugene Swiger)


  1. Approval of minutes from November 8, 2007
  1. Review of data from SSFC Survey (December 2007)
    1. Survey reviewed
      • 84 respondents
      • Primary reasons that project was voted down:
        • Plan too expensive.
        • Should have applied for funding from the state.
        • Proposed design was too large.
      • Those in favor cited the following reasons:
        • Children in school system.
        • Value strong school system.
        • Safety, health, ADA issues within the school.
      • While communization & misinformation are still a concern, the opinions represented in the surveys are the opinions of the South Portland voters.


  1. What are next steps?
    1.  City Council, Board of Education, & SSFC need to review the needs of the schools as presented by the SSFC
      • April 28th (new date—previously scheduled for May 12th) - a joint workshop has been scheduled to have the three above bodies meet.
      • We need to develop a memo that states for each project:
        • Purpose & Description of project                     
        • Need
        • Cost
        • Funding sources
      • We need to write 3 different memos from this committee (1 for each secondary school: SPHS, Mahoney, & Memorial).
        • We should include an explanation of the logic behind submitting two applications (1 for each middle school) to the state. We would be willing to consolidate into one middle school.
        • Over the next 20 years, we are looking at 3 major building renovations- might only be 2 (if middle schools consolidate).
        • The City Council already recognizes the need for the renovations to the three schools (T. Blake).
        • Prior to the workshop, have a conversation with Scott Brown (person at the state) who can update us on the status of the date for new applications and the revision of the application criteria worksheet.
        • Doesn’t look like more money will be available from state in revolving renovation fund—State in dire straits right now.
      • For the workshop presentation:
        • Start with Design Studies from Harriman.
        • Consider & revise for inflation-assuming going to bid in 2010 (Ref. in Nov 2009)--(20% up in copper in last 6 weeks, but cost of plywood & drywall is going down).
        • We will move forward with middle school memos using design studies.  Problem with using the design studies for middle schools—not apples to apples comparison to high school design  The reason we know more about the H.S. is that more studies have been done.   We will need to write some language in memo indicating the need for more study before we could give hard numbers /costs for middle school projects.
        • What would we propose as a H.S. project?
          • If we propose, as is, it won’t fly.
          • Given inflation, the costs will be much higher the longer we wait.           
        • Will those on the city side bring projections and costs based on 2008 or 2009.
      • What is the scope of the H.S. project?
        • Maybe look at the H.S. plan that went to vote as a “master plan” to be done in phases?
        • We can present:
          • Go forward with plan (adjust for inflation).
          • Go back to committee & try to break out project over 20 years.
            • Worry about getting approval for funding, if built in phases.
            • How do we avoid piece-by-piece or a building that looks or is broken up?
            • The committee will need to examine priorities of a building project.
            • Ouch… the building will be under construction for 20 years (lots of transitions for lots of kids).
        • Could we build a new building on Fickett’s property since it abuts Wainwright?
        • We wouldn’t have $ to buy land- How much is land in SP?
        • Is the land better? ($40,000 for land studies…estimate of cost of land - $1.5 million…lots of water out there.
        • In presentation, address question about “excess sq. footage” in SPHS plan
        • What about eliminating the 1950’s portion of the building?
        • Problem with the building is that when you  “touch” one part of the building, you trigger a lot of upgrades & DEP issues on the site
        • We will have to find out about the Fickett property.
        • If we do build elsewhere, what do we do with old building?
        • Do we ever consider bonding one huge bond- for 2 buildings?
        • We have a 5-year window to finish bonding a project from the date of the referendum.
        • In some ways, we have already phased these by bonding elementary, then high school, then middle schools.
        • An issue with a phased plan is that we don’t have excess space ... we would have to put kids in trailers for extended periods of time.
        • Any phasing plan: first phase will trigger DEP issues
        • Beal Gym—what to do?
      • For the memo:
        • Project description & explanation of the need.
        • Priorities for SPHS.
        • What we will put forward to Council will have to be voted on by Board at their April 14, 2008 meeting.  We have the meeting of 4/3/2008 to determine the content of the memo to send to the Board of Education.
    1. Further conversation regarding next step considerations
      • Costs have skyrocketed since November 2007 (last referendum).
      • The next time the State might accept applications--best case scenario is spring 2009.  Within best case scenario: building in 2013
      • What about “Revolving Renovations” and “What will we do with Beal Gym?”
        • Gym roof:  $945,000 project- state would only consider structural improvements… only would fund $83,000 of the total project cost. (This represents a shift-- we used to get a much higher % of projects)
        • In the past, the city has paid for it up front & we have gone to the state after
        • Do we present the gym roof as a separate, outside project?
        • City Council might be willing to go to referendum for gym roof & SPHS social worker area where there has been much water infiltration.  Social worker area had been put in FY09 budget.
        • Does it make sense to sink that much money into the gym if that gym won’t be usable? The people are clear that they don’t want 2 gyms in a new plan. We would need to build a new gym. We don’t want to do the renovations to the Beal gym roof only to undo them.
        • State money for roof ($83,000) has a window of time for completion.
        • They won’t accept applications for major capital construction projects until they re-work the old criteria (last time they took app. was 03-04)
        • Even if we get state money for construction, we wouldn’t get 100% funded because we don’t have any state-approved debt service.


    1. Communication
      • We had so many issues with the high school that we couldn’t narrow focus of proposal.
      • How can we do a better job at communicating with City Council so they understand?
      • We need to prioritize the needs:
        • Start with Health & Safety, ADA, Technology planning and needs, Educational needs
        • If we start with annex, where would we put kids
        • Cut out new gym?
      • ADA mitigation 5-year plan is needed.



Priorities for SPHS


Health & Safety





  • Water infiltration
  • Security
  • Air Quality
  • Life Safety 101 (building codes)
    • Emergency lighting
    • Stairwells
    • Ht/width
  • Structural
  • Mechanical System
    • Ventilation
    • Electrical Load


  • Parts of Building not accessible
  • Storm water/watershed
  • Permitting



- Next meeting:
- Look at above list & prioritize
- Dan’s team will bring plans to look at ways to prioritize stages of the plan
- Invite the full Board of Education


Next Meeting will be Thursday, April 3, 2008 to be held at the SPHS library from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

We also are scheduled to meet with the Board of Education and the City Council on Monday, April 28, 2008 to share the high school and middle school needs.  This meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. and be held at the South Portland Community Center.  (This is a change of date from the previously scheduled May 12 meeting).