As District 207 prepares to sell the remaining bonds from the voter approved $195 million referendum in the fall of 2018, the district was again assigned an Aa1 rating to continue to upgrade the schools. The Aa1 rating is the second highest rating available from Moody’s Investment Services.
It is anticipated the excellent bond rating will help keep the borrowing rate lower meaning taxpayers will pay lower property taxes than projected at the time of the referendum.
The district will borrow the remaining $65 million to finalize the projects at all three schools. The total project cost is $240.7 million with $195 million from the referendum vote and another $45.7 million from the district’s reserve funds (savings) for the projects.
The district previously sold $130 million in bonds to begin the work at the schools that has been ongoing since 2019.
The large-scale renovation and improvement of the district’s three high schools (Maine East, Maine South and Maine West) include updated plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems, along with renovated classrooms through the all three schools. Those projects have been completed or will be completed as part of the project. Additionally, the following projects are being completed at each school.
Maine East completed an expanded and renovated cafeteria; the transformation of classroom space into a library, student support offices and gathering stairs; and the creation of a new fitness center, dance studio and new locker rooms; the transformation of office space and the library into special education classrooms and art rooms. Projects still to be completed include renovated Career and Technical Education classrooms, as well as additional classroom updates.
Maine South projects that have been completed include the new student commons area that used to be a hallway and is now the hub of activity in the school; the completion of an expanded cafeteria area; new athletic spaces including a dance studio and wrestling room; and an additional hallway was built that connects the main academic classroom corridor to the main building. Projects still to be completed include renovated Career and Technical Education classrooms, as well as updates to the music wing.
Maine West completed projects include the addition of a new 34,000 square foot fieldhouse and new office spaces for student support personnel. Projects nearing completion include a renovated two-level cafeteria utilizing space that was formerly an indoor track and the transformation of a gymnasium into classroom space. Projects still to be completed include new visual art classrooms.