On Tuesday, voters in Regional School District 13 voted overwhelmingly — 724 to 403 — to approve a $23.2 million bond to renovate, reorganize and construct schools in the district. All of the towns voted to approve the bond: Rockland, 276-200; Thomaston, 114-69;  South Thomaston, 116-44; Owls Head, 156-52; and Cushing, 62-38.

The bonds will be used to renovate Oceanside Middle School — grades 6 to 8 — in Thomaston, renovate and build a new addition for Oceanside High School — grades 9 through 12 — in Rockland, and construct a new pre-K to grade 5 school on the site of Owls Head Community School to accommodate students from Owls Head and South Thomaston. The project includes the demolition of the existing Owls Head School and the closure of Gilford Butler School in South Thomaston, the former Lura Libby School in Thomaston, and the McLain building in Rockland. 

 The debt service on the bond proposal will be paid for through future savings from energy savings, closing buildings, future staff reductions and other efficiencies.

“I accept the result as an expression of the confidence our community has placed in our entire ‘Schools of Our Future’ initiative,” said RSU 13 Board Chairman Steve Roberts. “Our superintendent and business manager have worked together with staff, administrators and the board in creating the foundation for improving the whole experience of public education in our region. Now we have a lot of work to do to meet the expectations that we’ve encouraged our community to have.”

RSU 13 Superintendent John McDonald said he expects construction on the additional classrooms at Oceanside Middle School will begin this spring.