BAR HARBOR — Butch Bracy plans to retire June 30 after 20 years as director of maintenance and transportation at Mount Desert Island High School.
He is responsible for taking care of the school’s physical plant – making sure everything is clean, up to date and in good shape, overseeing the repair and replacement of equipment and being intimately involved in planning and overseeing renovation projects both large and small.
It’s a very big job.
“I’m just looking to kick back a little bit, play with the dogs at home and maybe do a little part-time work here and there,” Bracy said of his decision to retire.
When he took the high school job, construction of the arts wing was being completed, and he worked with the contractor to see that project through.
Another big project was the gym renovation in 2007.
Since then, the school’s original boilers have been replaced, the roof has been replaced, the parking lots have been repaved, solar panels have been installed, and the windows and exterior walls of the academic wing have been replaced.
“That was a great project to get done, to take care of the water damage we were dealing with every time it rained and we had a 40-mile-an-hour wind blowing out of the south,” Bracy said. “That was a great fix, and the walls got super-insulated, so the heating cost is less.”
Over the last few years, Bracy and custodian Phil Blanchard have replaced nearly all of the old light fixtures in the school with energy-efficient LED lights.
Now, he is eagerly awaiting the arrival this month or next of the school’s first all-electric bus.
“I believe we are the first high school in Maine to be using this technology for some of our student transportation,” he said.
“Butch has been an incredible asset to this school and community,” said Principal Matt Haney.
“He has a diverse skill set that includes everything from the specifics of pest management to the inner workings of our wastewater management system to his skills as a master electrician. He understands this building more intimately than any person alive.
“But the true beauty that Butch brings to our school lies in his relationships with the people who come here every day,” Haney said. “He is unfailingly kind, supportive and loving to those of us who are lucky to see him every day. We will miss Butch greatly.”
Bracy grew up in Otter Creek and was a member of Mount Desert High School’s last graduating class, in 1968. The consolidated MDI High School opened that September.
Bracy did maintenance work at the old Summit House nursing home in Bar Harbor and then worked as an electrician for a number of years before taking the job at the high school.
“This has been a great job,” he said. “You work with a team of such great people, all the teachers and other staff members. And I’ve always had a great working relationship with the principals and superintendents.”
Bracy said he has enjoyed working around high school students and getting to know many of them.
“It was fun to be here when my son and daughter, nieces and nephews and the kids and grandkids of friends went through here,” he said. “That’s been a highlight for me, to see them here every day and to see them graduate.”