School building renovations eyed

BAR HARBOR — The school board here is set to form a building committee to explore different options to revamp the aging buildings at Conners Emerson School.

“The reality is, in the next 10 years, you’re going to be looking at a total of anywhere between $8.5 to $10 million [in repairs],” principal Barb Neilly said in March. “At that point, Conners is 85-years-old.

Options being considered range from renovating the existing buildings for $9.6 million, to razing both structures and building a new school from scratch for $32 million, according to school board chair Kristi Losquadro.

Another option involves adding a wing to the Emerson middle school building for additional space, while retaining the Conners elementary school. A fourth option proposes tearing down the older Conners building, and expanding Emerson to hold all grades.

“The school board is reviewing the pros and cons of each option,” Losquadro said. Next steps include meeting with Town Manager Cornell Knight and Town Council Chair Gary Friedmann, and forming a building committee. The committee will have about 10 members, and will work on finalizing which building project plan to propose to the town.

A stakeholders’ meeting is planned for January or February for a public discussion on the options.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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