An architect’s drawing shows the proposed new entrance hall at MDI High School, with the new main office and two-story library on the left. IMAGE COURTESY OF OAK POINT ASSOCIATES

High school project could top $23.7M 

BAR HARBOR — Adding a second story to the library, reconfiguring the science labs and creating a new main entrance at Mount Desert Island High School would cost about $23.7 million, according to the architectural firm the school hired to plan the improvements. 

Oak Point Associates of Biddeford presented a preliminary concept plan to the school’s trustees in March. They presented their final concept design and cost estimates on Aug. 1.  

“I am ecstatic about the concept design, as it reflects our needs in so many ways,” Principal Matt Haney said in an email to the Islander. “I really appreciate that the firm did such thorough interviews with such a broad range of stakeholders, leading to a concept design that responds to our specific situation.” 

As for the $23.7 million price tag, Haney said, “That’s obviously a lot of money and also is a tremendous investment in our students and community as we work on bringing this 1960s-era building into the 21st century.  

“The renovation will make the classrooms more flexible and open to creative learning, the library both more functional as a media center and a gathering place, and the entrance will communicate a sense of welcome that our current structure does not.” 

Haney said the next step is for the trustees to review the concept design and cost estimates and submit questions for the architectural firm. Then, at their next meeting, on Aug. 22, the trustees will discuss the cost, possible funding mechanisms and project timelines. 

In addition to major renovations, the concept design calls for adding a second floor to the library and adding a seventh science lab and a seventh math classroom, both on the second floor.  

The plan also includes creating a new main entrance, building a larger central office between the new main entrance and the library and creating a wide set of risers beside the library where students could gather. 

The Oak Point Associates’ cost estimate for the high school project includes $19.2 million for construction, $1.5 million for architectural and engineering services and $750,000 for equipment. 

The high school trustees are separate from the school board. The trustees are responsible for the buildings and grounds. 


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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