May 07, 2021

Town looking for school space Woodland to consider constructing addition to current facility

WOODLAND – Woodland School Department officials hope that a November bond issue for school construction will be passed so they can consider building an addition to their elementary school.

The school board has been looking for residents interested in working on a building committee, if and when the money becomes available. The project would be too much for local taxpayers to take on themselves.

“With the passing of the November bond issue, there may be funds available for plans like ours,” Superintendent Rebecca Haskell said Tuesday. “The idea of an expansion was looked at seven years ago, but there simply was no money.

“We don’t have space in the school building for computer labs, science labs and music programs,” she said.

It’s a waiting game for the small community located north of Caribou. The wood-frame school building in the town was built in 1949. An addition was constructed in the early 1970s.

The building houses about 180 pupils in prekindergarten through grade eight. The school has just enough rooms so that each grade has one room. There is no space for music and other programs needed to meet the guidelines of the Maine State Learning Results.

The school building is located on the Woodland Center Road, across the street from the town office.

Haskell said the community has done well in maintaining the building over the years. Work on windows, siding and the heating system has been done from time to time.

“We would like to modernize the building, to add facilities needed to teach our kids so that they can meet guidelines,” Haskell said. “We have many issues that need to be met, like computers, sciences, music, language labs and a library.”

A gymnasium-cafeteria area now serves some of those purposes.

Money now available through the state is only for renovations. Haskell said no state money is available to increase the size of the building and to add more program areas.

“This has been something the school board has been looking to,” she said. “We need an addition, and we are exploring the avenues for state assistance.”

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