The eight-town district of RSU 19 was awarded state-funded school construction projects for Newport Elementary School and Nokomis Regional High School. In addition to the outdated, three-building elementary school complex and aging, overcrowded high school in Newport, the district also had two relatively new middle schools, three aging and inefficient elementary schools, and an overcrowded Pre-K to Grade 8 school. Several options were developed to determine the educational and financial impacts of consolidating schools and a final direction was chosen by the school board based on the recommendation of the building committee and the input of the citizens.
The chosen option resulted in the design of a 1,200-student middle/high school across the street from the existing high school. The middle school serves all RSU 19 students in grades 5 through 8 to provide consistent program delivery for the entire district and relieve overcrowding in the remaining schools. The new, three-story school building provides separation between the middle school and high school students, with separate secure entrances, administrative office suites, classroom wings, cafeterias, and gymnasiums, yet allows controlled flexibility between the schools to support proficiency-based education. Shared spaces include a centrally located library commons and a music/drama wing, which sits adjacent to the 300-seat auditorium. The site plan included the three-level, 212,500 sf school building, and a 3,000 sf wood chip boiler plant. On-site parking accommodates 24 buses and approximately 350 cars for use by staff, students, and visitors. New and refurbished athletic facilities were designed to accommodate both middle school and high school sports.
The district’s middle schools have been renovated to be repurposed as elementary schools, by adding age-appropriate restrooms and playgrounds. These elementary schools allowed for the closing of the four outdated and inefficient schools.
The project required extensive local and state permitting. Permit applications were prepared by Oak Point Associates for Town of Newport Site Plan approval, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) Site Location of Development Act (SLODA), and Maine Department of Health and Human Service Wastewater Disposal.