MOUNT DESERT — It would cost about $1.5 million to address all of the capital improvement needs at Mount Desert Elementary School, according to Mike Sealander of Ellsworth-based Sealander Architects. That firm recently conducted an assessment of the building and grounds.
The most expensive item on the list, with an estimated cost of $472,000, is a major upgrade of the school’s wall insulation to reduce heat loss. On a priority scale of one to three, with one being the most urgent, that is identified as a two.
Other big-ticket items include replacing the heating system boilers, a priority two project with an estimated cost of $350,000, and reconfiguring the amphitheater known as The Forum, a priority three project with a price tag of $259,000.
Sealander noted that The Forum “does not function well” as an assembly or program space.
The nine capital needs that were identified as number one priorities have a combined estimated cost of $99,060. They include improving security by providing better “visual connection” between the school office and main entrance, providing a soft surface for the playground, repairing the plaza wall where mortar joints are deteriorating, replacing the “failed” web-based mechanical control system and dealing with the “noticeable odor” in the teacher storage room. Sealander noted that the storage room “used to be part of an unexcavated area.”
He recommended replacing classroom windows because “many leak; all are deteriorating.” That project, identified as a number two priority, would cost an estimated $117,000. Another priority two project, replacing the metal bleachers in the gym with wooden ones, would cost about $28,000. Sealander said new bleachers would be “sturdier and provide accessible viewing locations.”
Improving the lighting in the gym and cafeteria, seen as low priorities, would cost a total of $10,700.
Sealander submitted his Mount Desert Elementary assessment report and recommendations last month. The Mount Desert School Committee had voted Dec. 7 to pay his firm $6,500 plus expenses for the assessment.
Marc Gousse, superintendent of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System, has said he would like to have an up-to-date facilities evaluation of all of the schools in the system.
An assessment of Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor was conducted last year.