The Maine State Board of Education voted unanimously this week to give final design and funding approval for the construction of a new state-funded project to replace Hall Elementary School. This milestone in the state approval process, which took place at the board’s March 15 meeting, gives the green light for the $29.7 million project to go out to bid and for construction work to begin.
Preliminary site work could commence before school ends this June. The school is expected to open in the fall of 2018.
“We are very appreciative of the support from the State Board of Education in giving this final authorization for a state-funded building to replace the current Hall Elementary School,” said Jeanne Crocker, Portland Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for School Management. “And we are also very grateful to our Portland community for its support of this project. This new building will ensure that Hall students have a 21st-century learning environment that meets their educational needs and compliance and safety standards.”
Portland voters in April 2016 approved the construction costs for a new Hall School in a special citywide municipal election. The referendum sought authorization to build a new Hall Elementary School on the existing site at 23 Orono Road for a total cost of $29.7 million. All but $1.4 million of the bonded amount will be reimbursed by the state.
The additional local funding voters approved will enhance the building’s educational and community uses. For example, the local portion will cover such things as the construction of a middle-school-sized gymnasium that can be used by the community, a cafeteria that is large enough to accommodate two 30-minute lunch periods and building security upgrades.
Built more than 60 years ago, Hall School suffered damage in a fire a few years ago and has outlived its useful life. Classes will continue to be held in the old school building while the new one is constructed nearby.