Furnishings Committee Formed and Meeting

posted Feb 26, 2019, 4:47 AM by Ryan Palmer

The Furnishing Committee is comprised of the MTA principal, custodial staff, teaching staff, the business manager, and PDT staff. The Committee is researching types of furniture to support an optimal learning environment. Also being reviewed is necessary cleaning equipment for the new school, the portability of furniture, and general functionality of the furniture. The Committee is gathering feedback from students and staff about potential furnishings and hopes to visit other schools that have purchased new furniture to assess the wear and tear and overall function of potential furniture choices. The goal is to pilot potential furniture options to aid the decision-making process and the plan is to gather a list of goods and prices for state review by March.

Pave the Way to Your Field of Dreams

posted Jan 8, 2019, 6:41 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Jan 8, 2019, 6:42 AM ]

https://www.bricksrus.com/donorsite/mtaeaglesWe are now accepting your orders for commemorative bricks that will surround the flagpole at our brand new baseball field. Help tell your part in the history of Mt Ararat Baseball. 
Click here to reserve your brick now for $100 per brick.

Local Artists Commissioned for New High School

posted Jan 4, 2019, 7:52 AM by Ryan Palmer

The Building Committee and the MSAD #75 School Board have approved four local artists to complete works of art for the new high school. Elizabeth Atterbury and Anna Hepler have been commissioned to create a ceramic tile mural based on Native American textile design.  Lyn Dowd will construct an eagle sculpture using organic material found in the four towns of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.  Richard Keen has been commissioned to paint an 8' x 8' mural for the dining commons.  All artwork will be completed for a cost of $42,000 and will be placed in high visibility areas such as the learning commons, dining commons and/or entryway areas. To learn more about the Percent for Art Program, view the April 2nd Percent for Artposting here.

High School Construction Project Proceeding On Budget

posted Dec 4, 2018, 9:40 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 9:44 AM ]

Construction of the new High School is well under way, and the project remains on budget.  The robust pace of construction is evident in invoicing of over $1 million each month for work completed by the contractor.

The project budget of $58.6 million includes a contingency fund of approximately $2.3 million to address construction change orders as a result of unanticipated conditions – such as the need to remove unsuitable soils under the new access road – or additional costs occurring from design oversights which can be anticipated in any construction project of this size.

Fortunately there have been few surprises, unanticipated conditions or oversights as the project has come out of the ground and the contractor continues his review of construction details.  For example, at the end of September construction was 8.4% complete, yet less than 1% of the contingency budget had been expended.  This is indeed good news. Below is the current Project Tracking Budget as of November 30, 2018.

Landscaping Committee Formed by Volunteers

posted Nov 26, 2018, 4:53 AM by Ryan Palmer

Many community members have been actively engaged in lending their interest, time and expertise to the planning and design of the new Mt. Ararat High School. The Board of Directors continues to support this approach with the recent appointment of a Landscaping Subcommittee following a call for community volunteers. The five members of the Subcommittee include Jane Scease, David Johnson, Jr., Becca Norklun, Martha Simpson, and Joyce Thomas.

The charge for this Subcommittee is to work with the Architect to develop landscaping plans within the Project’s budget allowance for high-visibility areas of the new site, such as the main entrance and gymnasium entrance. These plans will then be brought forward for approval to the Building Committee.

The involvement of our community in building the new High School will strengthen the success of the building project, and the Board of Directors appreciates the support of our many volunteers. 

New Baseball Field Update

posted Nov 1, 2018, 6:28 AM by Ryan Palmer

The creation of a new baseball and multi-purpose field was one of the first visible signs that our Mt. Ararat High School project was underway.  Though we had originally hoped to be playing on them next spring, a lengthy process to reconstruct utility lines as well as a very poor growing season this summer have caused us to delay that for a year.  In the end, the grass did not grow to our satisfaction in time for play in the spring of 2019. Our intention has always been to have a field that is fantastic for our athletes, enjoyable for spectators, and an all around proud accomplishment of the district.  We’ll need a bit more time for all of this to still come true.

In the meantime, let’s remind everyone what we’re planning for in the development of the new baseball field:
  • Concrete block dugouts
  • A home run fence with possible “high wall” features for key advertising signs
  • A new baseball scoreboard
  • A beautiful student-designed and built flagpole incorporated into the outfield landscape
  • A variety of seating areas to enable spectators to enjoy games
  • Warm-up mounds for both home and visiting teams

Similar to other sports, our Athletics Department will make arrangements for baseball practice and games at other area facilities for the 2019 season.  We have wonderful neighbors who are willing to partner with us and enable our athletes to have great experiences in the interim.

We have a number of dedicated parents, staff and community members committed to having an excellent athletic field when it’s done.  We thank them for their ideas, hours, and contributions.  As a result, our students will soon have a wonderful set of new fields to play on. 

Construction Oversight at MTAHS

posted Sep 13, 2018, 7:08 AM by Ryan Palmer

Mt. Ararat High School Construction

Project Oversight

By Daniel Chuhta, Interim Superintendent

A construction project this large requires the involvement of many individuals.  In regard to oversight, representation from the District (Interim Superintendent, Business Manager, Facilities Director, and the Building Committee Chairperson), PDT (the architectural firm), Arthur C. Dudley (the General Contractor), the Maine Department of Education, and the Clerk of the Works (hired by the Architect to be onsite daily) meets twice each month to review progress, discuss next steps, and address questions and/or concerns.  In addition, the District’s team meets every other week with representatives from PDT as well as the Clerk of the Works.

Beyond the daily duties of the Clerk of the Works, regular visits from the Maine Department of Education, and daily visits of the Facilities Director, multiple engineering firms are also responsible for ongoing field testing.  Recently, S.W. Cole Engineering has been providing on-site testing of soil and ground materials, and R.W. Gillespie has been providing testing of the concrete. In the future, mechanical and structural testing will occur as the building begins to rise up from the ground.  All together, each step in the project is monitored for quality assurance and adherence to the specifications.

MTA HS Construction Campus Updates

posted Sep 7, 2018, 9:32 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Sep 13, 2018, 7:02 AM ]

Mt. Ararat High School Construction

Campus Updates

By Donna Brunette, MTA Principal

As many of you are aware, the high school construction project is underway.  Exciting! A great deal of work has been done since school ended in June. The contractors have been focused on site development throughout the summer with the roadway a priority, preparing all the ground systems such as water and power, drilling geothermal wells, and pouring the foundation for the new school.  The progress made has been amazing! If you haven’t been on campus, you will be stunned.

Our main entry road, Eagle’s Way, has been closed for the summer, but has reopened.  Roadways, parking, and walking paths are all impacted by construction and construction equipment is very much a presence on our campus.  For the next few years, anyone visiting our campus should plan additional time for travel, be very cautious around construction vehicles, and avoid parking on the roadways during work hours.   

Many people are asking about the student parking lot, student access to parking on campus this year, and the parent drop off plan.  The following statements outline plans during construction:

Student Parking: The student parking lot at the front of the high school has re-opened, but there are fewer spaces.  Other parking spaces around the building and on campus have been designated for student parking. When students complete the application process for parking they will be assigned to park in a specific area.  For students who are assigned spaces around the building, student parking is designated with painted orange lines. Staff parking spaces are lined with white paint. Please contact the Student Affairs Office if you have questions.

Drop-Off Area: The drop-off area for parents or whoever may be dropping off a student for school will continue to be in the student parking lot near the crosswalk.  The entry to the student parking area will be near the crosswalk, and people will be able to pull into the student parking area, drop off students, and loop through the parking lot to exit right by way of a temporary gravel access drive onto Eagles Way when leaving the parking lot.  

The fall athletic programs have started and many are playing at sites in our community while construction is underway.  Boys and girls soccer teams will play home contests at the Riverside Field in Topsham. Football home games will be played at the Fairgrounds field in Topsham and field hockey teams will be sharing the middle level field.  Please contact Athletic Director Geoff Godo for more information.

And finally, if you want to follow the MTA Construction project online, there is a link on district and school websites with additional information which includes some drone footage.  Monthly updates are posted by the Communications Committee based on the work of the Building Committee. Fundraising has also been a focus for the project; and if you are interested in contributing funds to support the project, information about various fundraising initiatives will be posted on this site as well.

Student Parking Image

Construction Under Way

posted Jun 26, 2018, 5:18 AM by Ryan Palmer

Construction of the new Mt. Ararat High School is now under way.  On May 31, 2018 the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors approved entering into a construction contract with Arthur C. Dudley, Contractor/Builder, at a cost of $46,258,682.  This action followed a public bid opening for the project held on May 23, 2018, and a recommendation to approve the contract with Arthur Dudley from the Building Committee.

With the current building boom some school districts are seeing the low bids for their construction projects come in significantly over budget.  While Arthur Dudley submitted the only bid for the Mt. Ararat Project, the bid came in on budget and the District will be able to move forward in constructing a school with those features which were viewed as important to the school community, such as placing additional security cameras around the site, upgrading athletic facilities, creating additional classroom space and integrating energy-efficient features throughout the school.  The project will also have a positive impact on the local economy, since Crooker Construction of Topsham will be providing the site work and constructing the rectangular turf field.

Construction began prior to the end of the school year with work taking place on new portions of the access road.  The current access road will be closed for construction this summer beginning June 25th, with vehicles only able to access the High School via Can-Am/Republic Avenue.  By mid-summer foundations will be poured, beginning with the gymnasium end of the building on the current baseball field next to the Transportation Garage. 

On June 7th 100 community members attended a joyful ground-breaking ceremony, with speakers noting the long road for state approval of the Project over many years, and the dedication of so many individuals across the community, including PDT Architects, in reaching this point in the Project.  All of this is only possible because of the incredible support from the four communities of MSAD No. 75.

Stay tuned for regular updates on the progress of construction on this website.

(As an interesting note, Arthur Dudley also constructed the last addition to Bowdoinham Community School, a project which was viewed as very successful.)

The Best Seat In the House Could Be Yours

posted Jun 21, 2018, 5:25 AM by Ryan Palmer


This is The Forum for cultivating student thought and learning, full of discussion and debate. This is the The Forum brimming with creative activities and shows all year. An appreciation and understanding of, and participation in both learning and in performing arts ... drama, music, and dance....in our schools and communities.


For students of all ages, the forum provides a diverse, meaningful opportunity for student growth and success and promotes a community of fluent learners, critical thinkers and creative contributors to our society. The Forum provides a cultural beacon in the region, inviting the community at large to experience fine live performances, both amateur and professional. When you‘TAKE the BEST SEAT in the HOUSE, you support our mission and are a part of the action.

Your name on a permanent commemorative brass plaque (or two!), attached to a seat in the theater shows your enduring commitment to the arts and to arts education. (It does not, however, guarantee your seating there for performances!)

Or, buy a plaque as a gift for someone else- your parents or child, a favorite teacher, a friend, or someone you admire in the community. An engraved brass plaque could be the perfect gift for a birthday or anniversary, or some cherished event. The Forum has 250 seats so there are plenty of opportunities to take the best seat in the house. 

seats image
Click HERE to download and print an order form.

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