During heavy rains, water runs in under the garage door that faces the main school building in the combination storage and restroom building near the football field at Mount Desert Island High School. ISLANDER PHOTO BY FAITH DEAMBROSE

Problem-plagued school storage building still leaks



BAR HARBOR — The combination storage and restroom building near the football field at Mount Desert Island High School that was completed in the fall of 2019 at a cost of about $400,000 isn’t as dry as it should be. 

During heavy rains, water runs in under the garage door that faces the main school building. 

Principal Matt Haney told the school’s Board of Trustees last week that Maintenance Director Scott Watson has recommended pouring another few inches of concrete inside the building and sloping it toward the door “because nothing else has been stopping the water from coming in underneath.” 

Board member Tony Smith, who is also the town of Mount Desert’s public works director, said he agreed with Watson’ recommendation, but the board voted to hire a structural engineer to assess the problem and recommend a solution. 

“I don’t think we are questioning Scott’s recommendation; we just want another set of eyes on it,” said Ann Ratcliff, the board’s vice chair. “I think it’s worth it at this point to hire an engineering firm to get it done, get it done right, get it done once and for all.” 

The 40-by-40-foot building has restrooms for people attending athletic events and space for storing sports equipment. That equipment, such as pole vault mats, was previously stored in a rented trailer and a wooden shed where mice could get at it.  

The general contractor for the storage/restroom building was King Construction Services of Jonesport.  

The project encountered several problems that delayed completion by nearly a year. 

In September 2018, Haney told the school’s trustees that the building likely would be finished by late November. But a concrete apron around the building wasn’t poured before winter set in and the ground froze. After the apron was poured in the spring of 2019, it had to be replaced because it did not meet specifications. And school officials decided to have a wider area outside the apron paved with asphalt to prevent drainage problems. 

Solar panels on the roof generate electricity for the building. 

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]

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