Special Public Meeting Jan. 31 on Elementary School Bond
Community members are encouraged to attend a special meeting of the Portland Board of Public Education on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at which the board will consider a $61 million bond proposal to renovate four Portland elementary schools (Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot and Reiche) and vote on whether to accept the proposal and refer it to the City Council's Finance Committee.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 200 of Casco Bay High School, located at 196 Allen Avenue.
The Buildings for Our Future bond proposal was endorsed Jan. 19 by the council’s School Facilities Ad Hoc Committee. The committee, made up of several members of the school board and of the City Council, including school board member Marnie Morrione and Mayor Ethan Strimling, spent six months reviewing the need for the renovations at the aging schools – which have had no major investments in many decades – before voting in favor of the bond proposal to pay for them. The committee whittled down the costs from an initial estimate of more than $70 million to $61 million.
“After careful study and consideration, the School Facilities Ad Hoc Committee came to the conclusion that this $61 million investment is what is needed for the significant upgrades that these schools critically need,” Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana said. “However, the committee’s decision is only the first step. The school board must now vote on accepting the bond proposal and referring it to the City Council’s Finance Committee, and the final decision on what bond amount will go to voters rests with the full City Council. I encourage all Portland community members – parents, staff and other taxpayers – to continue to stay involved and make their voices heard regarding this important decision on the future of our city’s schools.”
To view the agenda for the school board’s special meeting and the bond proposal, click HERE.