School Building Project
The School Building Project has been a multi-year planning process to address the overcapacity in Scarborough's three K-2 primary schools and the Middle School. A $160M proposed solution failed in a referendum vote in November 2023, and now the Town and Board of Education are working toward a revised solution and approach to meeting the needs of the community.
In 2023, the Scarborough Board of Education worked with a School Building Committee to develop a solution for the limitations of Scarborough school facilities, including their condition and capacity. What emerged was the "K-8 Strategic Project & New Primary School" project. It was described as "a holistic strategic solution for our K-8 schools to solve facilities inadequacies and inefficiencies by reorganizing grade levels, aligning our student populations, and building a new consolidated primary school that addresses educational equity, operational efficiency, population growth, flexibility, safety & security, and 21st century learning and teaching methods." More on the specific plan details for the 2023 proposed project can be found on the School website.
The proposed project was brought to the Town Council for approval to have the proposed $160M school project on the November 2023 referendum ballot. The school building project was ultimately rejected in the November 7, 2023 election by a vote of 3,363 Yes and 5,913 No (198 Blanks). The continued issues affecting the schools require ongoing work toward a solution.
New School Building Committee Formed (February 2024)
The Scarborough School Board and Scarborough Town Council are working together to create a new School Building Committee. Their Charge: To research the current space issues in the district and propose a new solution. (View the full charge). Residents had until February 9, 2024 to apply. The first meeting for the School Building Advisory Committee was on February 12. The committee will determine a cadence and schedule; subcommittees will also be formed and will determine their own schedules. School Building Advisory Committee meetings will be posted on the School website.
Townwide Survey (March 2024)
A statistically valid townwide survey will be mailed to a random sample of residents. This will inform the committee of what the community is looking for in a school solution. It will run for approximately 6-8 weeks. Data will be made available when the process is complete.
The new School Building Advisory Committee (SBAC) is setting their meeting schedule. Meetings are recorded and available to view on the Scarborough Schools YouTube page (view here). The School Calendar lists all meetings and includes links to participate in the meetings via Zoom (view here).
|Nick McGee - Town Council
|April Sither - Town Council
|Leanne Kazilionis - School Board
|Jillian Trapini-Huff - School Board
|Rory Benjamin - Chair
|Brian Wallace - Vice Chair
|Alissa Peterson - Member At Large
|Charlie Peters - Member At Large
|James Cronican - Member At Large
Council Corner Live (January 25, 2024)
The Town Council held a Council Corner Live, their first in 2024, to have an open discussion around finding a school solution and what it looks like. They were joined by members of the Board of Education and two community facilitators to help guide the exercise, along with about 30 residents in attendance (View complete summary below).
Participants were asked to express their support for the school referendum on a scale of 0-10. They were put into groups based on their scores and listed their reasonings. Groups were then mixed and discussed their recommendations for a new proposal, with ideas like, "Set a budget and then develop a solution at a reasonable cost" and "Keep the community aware of progress along the way at key decision points; chunking information into digestible pieces". At the end of the facilitated session, residents were asked to apply to be on the new School Building Committee if they wanted to continue to be involved.
The Town and School are taking a phased approach to moving a new solution forward. The first iteration of the committee will be to review existing data to identify the need and current situation, and evaluate feedback from a community-wide survey to propose a recommendation to the Town Council and School Board. This Council Corner Live event was in-person only due to the format of the facilitator-led discussion.
All materials regarding the 2023 project are available on the Scarborough Schools website. This includes infographics, flyers, videos, FAQs, and more.
Please use the following email addresses to direct any questions, comments, or concerns related to the school building project.
School Building Advisory Committee
firstname.lastname@example.org (Sent to all members)
School Building Advisory Committee Leadership
email@example.com (Sent to committee leadership only)