SPSD Press Release 1/25/2011


Committee Will Work with Community to Finalize High School Design

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, January 25, 2010 – The South Portland Board of Education announced the formation of the South Portland High School (SPHS) Building Committee.  On November 2, 2010, South Portland residents approved a $41.5 million bond to renovate and expand the high school as well as address safety, health, and security issues.  The Building Committee will be responsible for finalizing the design approved in concept by voters last fall.  Members of the Committee include representatives of the school board, administration, faculty, and students, city councilors, and community members.  The Committee anticipates completing the final design specifications for the project by June.  Once the design development phase is completed, construction documents for the renovation will be created and bids for the project will be issued. The Committee will also oversee the bid and construction process and hopes to award bids in November.   

“We have assembled a diverse group of people to participate in the Committee.  Their task will be to work with the community to refine the concept presented to voters into a final design to be used for construction,” said Ralph Baxter, South Portland School Board President and SPHS Building Committee Chairman.  “Community feedback will be an important factor in making final design decisions for the project.  We have already begun meeting with students and faculty for input and are reaching out to the community at-large for their assistance as well.”

Jeff Selser, a member of the SPHS Building Committee, was involved with Renew SPHS, the political action committee formed by residents to provide information to the community about the renovation during last year’s referendum. 

“The success of Renew SPHS can be attributed to the tremendous volunteer support from throughout the City. We had people from every neighborhood donating their time to canvas, hand out flyers, make phone calls, attend meetings, or spread the word in other ways.  We hope to recreate that energy we felt throughout the campaign.  There will be a number of subcommittees working with the Building Committee and we are encouraging people throughout South Portland to come and be a part of this exciting project.  All ideas are welcome.  The more voices we hear from, the better the project will be.”

“The vision for the renovated high school has always been for it to be a facility utilized by the community,” said Suzanne Godin, Superintendent of South Portland schools.  “We want as much participation from the community as possible during this process.  We hope when the school is completed, residents will feel proud that they played an integral role in the creation and development of this important building.”

The SPHS Building Committee has identified specific components of the plan design to be addressed by subcommittees.  The SPHS Building Subcommittees list includes Green/Energy Efficiency Building, Library/Media Center & Technology, Athletics, Interior Finishes, Kitchen Design and Communications.  Other subcommittees will be formed as the process unfolds.  Residents interested in participating in a subcommittee are encouraged to contact Maria Sorensen of the South Portland School District at (207)871-0555 or SorensMa [at] spsd [dot] org.  For more information about the subcommittees responsibilities and a calendar of meetings, please visit www.spsd.org.

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