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.

Building Project Update with Photos

posted Jul 3, 2019, 6:52 AM by Ryan Palmer

Building project update with photos of  both interior and exterior progress that has been made up to June 14, 2019. 

NEW! Video Archive

posted Jun 10, 2019, 11:17 AM by Ryan Palmer

Our new "Video Archive" page on this site allows users to view videos from the beginning of the new MTA Building Project to the present.You should see the link to the new page on a tab between "Meeting Calendars" and "FAQ". Please see the image below:

Site/Tree Work at MTA

posted Jun 3, 2019, 4:53 AM by Ryan Palmer

From Donna Brunette's Newsletter:

In the last couple of newsletters I have shared with all of you that there will be a significant amount of site work done this summer around the current high school when school is not in session.  In order to prepare for this site work there is a need to do some clearing of trees in areas being developed around the front of the school, back entrance to school, and on Republic Avenue.  I know that the removal of trees is necessary for the next phase of the building project; I also know the changing landscape will cause an emotional response so I hope this communication will help prepare people for the necessary tree cutting.

The trees that will need to be removed at this phase of the construction project are located near the staff parking areas closest to Republic Avenue and the softball field.  If you look into the wooded area near these parking spaces, you can see blue plastic ribbon marking the site for cutting.  Additionally, the red maple tree which stands at the side of the school building close to this area before the turn onto Republic Avenue will need to be taken down in this phase.

The plan is to begin the cutting and removal of trees next week on Wednesday, June 5th.  The cutting of trees will be done in a timely manner with limited impacts on teaching and learning.  The timing of cutting will also be planned to have a limited impact on staff parking and times when traffic is heavy.  Coles Tree Service, the same company that removed trees last year, did an exceptional job working with our schedule to limit impacts on the school day.

In support of this work, I would ask that people take extra precautions (drivers, bikers, and walkers) and plan for possible delays or alternative routes in the area where the trees are being removed.

Thank you for your cooperation.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact me.


Donna F. Brunette, Principal

Mt. Ararat High School

(207) 729-2951 X 208

Students Design New MTA High School Flag

posted May 3, 2019, 8:50 AM by Ryan Palmer

At the April 11, 2019 MSAD #75 School Board Meeting, the Board unanimously approved the Mt. Ararat High School Building Committee’s recommendation to approve the student designed flag and the its fabrication. The flag will fly above the new Mt. Ararat High School construction site alongside the flag of general contractor Arthur C Dudley. The Student Advisory Sub-
Committee of the Building Committee launched a student contest for the design of the flag. The winning design is a collaborative project created by Mt. Ararat Middle School Students Belle Hemond, Jackson Byrne and Gabby Chase. Pictured from the left are, 7th grade Gabrielle Chase, 8th Grader Belle Hemond, 12th grader Emily Robbins and 8th grader Jackson Byrne. Emily is the student representative serving on the MTA High School Building Committee, has been an active member of the Student Advisory Sub-Committee, and has facilitated the process for the student designed flag.

1-10 of 86