The Transition to the New High School

posted Mar 11, 2020, 10:23 AM by Ryan Palmer

As construction of the new High School nears completion the District’s construction team is moving to a new phase in the project, planning for the fit-up of the new High School.  This includes the physical move of furniture, equipment, books and supplies and outfitting the new High School with new furniture and technology.

The physical move between the two high schools will begin the day after the last day of school, and will happen quickly so demolition of the current school can begin.  The District is now in the process of soliciting proposals from commercial moving companies.  Most of the existing furniture will be replaced with new furniture, similar to other school construction projects (such as Bowdoin Central and the Middle School).  Plans are being made to provide opportunities to reuse existing furniture by making it available first to other schools in the District, then to our town governments and libraries, and then to our community at-large through a community “yard sale”.  The District is also exploring options for recycling student and staff tables and chairs to reuse the metal content of this furniture.

Committees for both technology and furniture selection have been busy over the last year, working closely with consultants, students, staff and the Building Committee in exploring products and testing samples.  The planning for new furniture and equipment is largely complete, and requests for competitive proposals and pricing are either complete or in process.  The installation of new technology and the telephone system will begin in June, and the installation of new furniture is scheduled to take place between July 6th and July 13th.

Other activities will be taking place in the new School over the summer as well.  Three different pieces of art commissioned through the Percent for Art program and a dedication wall will be installed.  (You can see one of the pieces of art – a mural to be hung in the cafeteria – on the construction page of our website.)  Installation of solar panels on the roof will begin in the late spring and extend into the summer months.

The new High School will indeed be a busy place over the summer as excitement grows for the opening of the new Mt. Ararat High School in September. 

Final Planning to Begin Demolition

posted Mar 3, 2020, 5:03 AM by Ryan Palmer

Final plans are taking shape to begin demolition of the existing High School in July of 2020.  The last major piece of the planning process fell into place with the bidding and award of a contract to EnviroVantage for abatement of PCBs and exterior asbestos mastic found on the foundation, at a cost of $759,195.  This cost falls within allowances already included in the budget.  The Board of Directors will be asked to approve a contract with EnviroVantage in March.  Abatement of interior asbestos is already included in the general construction contract with Arthur C. Dudley. 

The presence of PCBs and asbestos are currently contained within or by building materials, and so they pose no hazard to building occupants.  The District has always been careful to meet federal and state requirements to maintain a safe building and environment.  These materials are commonly found in schools and other buildings built at the time of the High School (1973). 

However, once the demolition process begins the building must be disassembled in a careful manner to meet requirements for worker and environmental safety as the roof and walls are taken down.  Materials contaminated by PCB or asbestos also require special transportation to landfills that are licensed to accept this material. During the demolition process an independent environmental consultant will be on site to assure a safe process is maintained, and the contractors follow the plan for demolition approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Demolition will begin as soon as possible after the end of the school year to maintain the schedule for construction of the new competition athletic field in the same location.

MTA Staff Visits - Construction Project - December 2019

posted Feb 25, 2020, 6:22 AM by Ryan Palmer

In December 2019, groups of MTA staff had an opportunity to tour the new high school construction site for the first time.  Given that this is a construction site, tours needed to be limited to 15 people and access to some areas was limited based on work in progress.  The visits generated a lot of excitement as visitors took note of the wood featured in the entry halls, natural light, classroom features, office set ups, and so much more.  The looks on their faces in the group photos tells it all.

Back L-R: Bob Durant, Aurora Manzanero, Rob Messier, Jessica Belanger, Gillian Watt, Lou Dorogi, and Jason Prince

Front L-R: Donna Brunette, Pam Justice, Alison Pols, Bree Candland, Jodi Crawford, and Evelyn Barbour


Back L-R: Matthew Cook, Geoff Godo, Tyler King, Dan Gibson, Nick Innis, Doug Ware, Sarah Cowperthwaite, and Sewall Janeway

Front L-R: Paul Guerette, Courtney Calderwood, Hilary Martin, Jessica Graham, Dennis Edmondson, Suzie Brawn, Donna Brunette, Michelle Reed, and Christine Delrossi

Back L-R: Lianna Fenimore, Donna Brunette, Deron Sharp, Ben Cox, Peggy Callahan, Courtney Reichert, Jen Green, Adam C (tour guide), Lisa Walker, Brooke Cox

Front L-R: Dorothy Bradford, Donna Brunette, Kristen Thomas, Julie Petrie, Haven Fieldsend, Emily Vail, Kristi Thebeau-Holman, and Carmen Palmer



Merrymeeting Bay Mural

posted Feb 10, 2020, 10:25 AM by Ryan Palmer

Merrymeeting Bay, a photograph of a mural by Richard Keen taken in the artist's studio.  This work of art is commissioned under the Maine Percent for Art Act administered by the Maine Arts Commission.  It will hang in the cafeteria of the new Mt. Ararat High School.

Building a Sustainable High School

posted Dec 16, 2019, 5:33 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Jan 10, 2020, 10:18 AM ]

From the beginning our community has been consistent in its desire to build a new High School with sustainable features of energy efficiency, a small carbon footprint and a healthy indoor environment.  The Board of Directors and Building Committee, working with CHA Architecture’s team of architects and engineers, have worked to assure sustainable features are designed and built into the new school, and the voters approved the additional local cost of these features.  The Sustainability and Building Systems Subcommittee, composed of community members, continues to oversee these features in the construction process.

The new School will be heated and cooled through a closed-loop geothermal system comprised of 96 deep water wells that will enable the School to take advantage of the consistent temperature of water deep below the ground to both heat and cool the school with less natural gas (for heating) and less electricity (for cooling).  At the same time, the School will be highly energy efficient with a building envelope that includes additional roof insulation along with triple-glazed windows.


The new school includes additional steel to bear the weight of solar panels across the entire roof.  In the spring of 2019 the Sustainability Subcommittee began a competitive process to select a third-party vendor who will install the solar panels prior to the substantial completion of the building and produce solar energy beginning with the opening of school.  Based on recommendations from the Sustainability Subcommittee and Building Committee, on October 10th the Board of Directors approved entering into a 25-year lease for the solar panels with Maine-based Revision Energy.  There are no costs to the taxpayer for this lease, and the District will see annual savings in electricity of over $40,000 per year on average, or over $1,000,000 during the 25-year term of the lease.  A solar energy “dashboard” located inside the school will provide students with real-time information on energy generation.  There will also be a separate solar domestic hot-water heating system.


Community feedback emphasized the importance of creating a healthy indoor environment conducive to learning.  Plenty of sunlight will bathe the new classrooms and common areas.  Large window-walls will light the cafeteria and Learning Commons.  The architects have selected building materials with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to support good indoor air quality.  A robust air-exchange system will assure there is plenty of fresh air in the building.

Quality control is central to this project.  Individuals from both the Department of Education and CHA Architecture, along with independent testing agencies hired by the School District constantly monitor the design and construction process. The project also includes a “commissioning” agent - a third-party engineering firm providing additional oversight into the design, construction and operation of the building to assure the outside envelope is water tight and energy efficient, and the heating and ventilation systems are built and perform to specifications from the first day of school.


Construction continues on time and on budget, and we look forward to opening the new Mt. Ararat High School to those first tours for our four communities who have been unwavering in their support, and engaged in providing the time and feedback needed to construct a facility we can all be proud of.




MTA High School Project Update

posted Nov 13, 2019, 12:49 PM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Nov 13, 2019, 12:52 PM ]

To_ MSAD #75 Educational Community Nov


Traffic Patterns and Student Parking Updates

posted Sep 13, 2019, 11:34 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Sep 13, 2019, 11:36 AM ]

Administration has been working with contractors to confirm what the traffic patterns will be when the new school year begins. The campus map which follows shows the traffic patterns and parking areas designated for students who receive a parking pass. All the spaces around the school will be designated for staff parking this year as a result of changes made to the road. The work at the front of the building reduced the number of parking spaces around the building. Spaces at the front of the building will run parallel to the roadway and, for the most part, be designated for handicap and visitor parking. 

Second Update on Baseball Field Conditions

posted Aug 13, 2019, 6:13 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Aug 13, 2019, 6:14 AM ]

Below is a letter from CHA Architecture/PDT Architects to the MSAD #75 School Board regarding the Repair and Maintenance Program for the new baseball and practice fields.


Update on MTA Baseball & Practice Fields

posted Aug 5, 2019, 6:29 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Aug 6, 2019, 1:37 PM ]

Below is a letter from architect Lyndon Keck to Ian Messier, of Crooker Construction, requesting his presence at a meeting regarding the new baseball and practice fields. You can also view a presentation by Mr. Keck to the MSAD #75 School Board on July 11, 2019 about the status an plans for those fields by clicking HERE.  If you would like to learn more about winterkill of turfgrasses, then read "this article" from the Penn State Extension.


MTA Summer Construction/Traffic Information

posted Jul 20, 2019, 6:50 AM by Ryan Palmer

During the summer months, there will be a significant presence of construction vehicles on our campus and traffic will be two way at the back of the school while site work is underway around the front of the current high school. The Temporary Main Entrance will be near the chorus room at the back of the building. If you need to come to the high school this summer, please plan for extra time and look for signage to support you as you move about campus. It is imperative that we all drive very carefully when we are on the high school campus this summer.

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