Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mildred L. Day School

The Mildred L. Day School provides Kindergarten through Grade 5 educational experiences for the students of Arundel. There are approximately two hundred and sixty students attending the school with a certified teaching staff of twenty-one.

The staff and administration of the Mildred L. Day School strives to ensure a safe and positive learning environment where the social, emotional, and physical needs of students are met while at the same time meeting high academic standards. The school strongly encourages parental involvement in their child's learning and offers a variety of ways for that to occur. Those wishing to become involved should contact their child's teacher.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Arundel house fire backs up Route 111 traffic

By David Hench
Staff Writer
ARUNDEL — Traffic remained backed up for miles early Friday afternoon as crews from multiple towns battle a house fire on Route 111, across from Ledge Cliff Drive.

Tom Waterman, who has lived at the house at 728 Alfred Road since 2008, stared in shock as he watched flames devour his two-story farmhouse and the attached garage where he keeps his tools. He said he hauls junk cars for a living, and a sign out front reads “Cash for Junk Cars.”

Waterman said the feeling of seeing his house on fire was indescribable.

Debbie Harris, who lives across the street, said she noticed smoke coming out of the eaves of the house at 11:30 a.m. and called 911. By the time firefighters arrived, she could see flames.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Down East salutes Arundel

Magazine puts town among Maine’s top six places to live
By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

ARUNDEL — In the March issue Best Places to Live, Down East magazine listed Arundel as one of six best places to live in Maine.

Other selected towns include Gorham, Bowdoinham, Hampden, Hope and Turner.
Arundel has approximately 4,100 residents with a median age of 43, according to Down East. Qualifying factors included the exclusion of towns where median household incomes are less than the 95 percent of the state’s median income, which is approximately $48,000; the median household income of Arundel families, according to Down East and the United States Census Bureau, is $60,156. The median home price is $218,000. Approximately 5.5 percent of families are below the poverty line in Arundel.

Statistics also used to determine the top six included towns with graduation rates higher than the 85 percent state median (Arundel’s graduation rate is 86.5 percent). Anecdotal evidence contributed to the top six selections to help writers gauge, among other things, the “intangible qualities like sense of community,” according to the article.

Referring to Arundel’s secession from Kennebunkport as an “effort to preserve its agrarian roots,” the article states: “The town — which reverted to Kennebunkport’s 18th-century name, Arundel, in 1957 — remains a rural outpost, a rare pastoral respite along the I-95/coastal corridor in York County that residents prize.”

Also included is the mention of Bentley’s Saloon on Route 1, The Landing School, and the historical novelist Kenneth Roberts of Kennebunkport, who wrote a book simply titled, “Arundel.”


Board takes first steps toward new building plan

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Compromises were made and ties were severed on Monday night at what was the most productive school board meeting since the Jan. 21 referendum.

The RSU 21 board of directors made three notable decisions Monday: unanimously deciding to keep an elementary school open in each of the three communities in the district; voted not to hire a firm to conduct surveys in each town; and set the starting estimate for renovating Mildred L. Day School, Consolidated School and Kennebunk High School at $55 million — $20 million less than the initial proposal.

OK, so we’re finally discussing stuff at a board meeting. I think this is positive,” said board member Art LeBlanc at the March 3 meeting that spanned four hours.

Board member Tim Hussey initially asked to set a clear scope of the three projects to make it easier for the facilities and finance committees to address issues as they move forward.

Later, board member Frank Drigotas, reading from his iPhone, proposed the first revision: that the cost of the three combined building projects not exceed $52 million. The board voted down that motion, 7-5. Drigotas also suggested that the board’s proposed renovation project sever its ties with the Southern Maine Visual and Performing Arts Center. 


Summit brings together three towns

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer 
KENNEBUNK — In a perhaps long-overdue convergence of the minds, town administrators from Arundel, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, including Superintendent Andrew Dolloff of RSU 21, held a combined public meeting at Kennebunk’s town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 26 to discuss the towns’ and the school district’s capital needs.

The meeting came on the coattails of contention surrounding a $75 million school renovation proposal the voters shot down at a Jan. 21 referendum.

Each town manager presented, essentially, a capital plan that included fiscal expenditures on necessities such as roads and road equipment, and made note of significant amounts of money to be spent in the next couple of years, i.e. a new town hall in Arundel.

Dolloff also presented the methods by which the past proposal’s building plans for each of the three schools were drafted.

A renovation proposal for Mildred L. Day School in Arundel, Kennebunk High School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School will likely face voters as early as June and as late as November.


South Portland school plan offers lessons for RSU 21

KENNEBUNK — Three years of meetings to come up with a plan, complaints that a turf field and second gym were "frills," an aging high school in need of tens of millions in repairs and renovations — all ultimately leading to a failed school bond vote after strong voter turnout.
Sound familiar?

It might, but it's not the recent RSU 21 vote. In fact, it was the 2007 failure of the South Portland High School building vote.

The South Portland project brought before voters in 2007 was for the high school only, which suffered from many of the same problems plaguing Kennebunk High School: old buildings, poorly constructed additions, antiquated systems and infrastructure and spaces not conducive to today's educational climate.

When the project was first presented to voters in 2007, it failed, with 6,495 residents casting ballots — 1,564 in support and 4,726 against. Seventy-five percent of voters voting against the original project, which carried a price tag of $56 million.

According to a Nov. 16, 2007 article in The Sentry, the plans included "the construction of a three-story addition for science classrooms and a new library, a three-floor classroom and administration wing, a two-story addition for a new cafeteria and kitchen, a two-story classroom addition on the Highland Avenue side of the building and a single-story gymnasium."
The plans also proposed relocating the existing tennis courts and the construction of a "multipurpose artificial turf field."

In South Portland, the public was divided over the 2007 vote, with letters to the editor in the local paper, the Current, reflecting many of the same issues — and community tension — that were seen in RSU 21:

Cut $20 million from plan, RSU 21 board tells building committees

KENNEBUNK — Proposed renovations to Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School should cost no more than $55 million — $20 million less than a proposal voters failed in January, it was decided Monday night.

This was the charge the RSU 21 Board of Directors put before the district’s Facilities Committee and building committees during an at-times heated meeting Monday night, as the group faced the difficulties of moving forward after voters failed the $75 million proposal in January by a 2-to-1 margin.

The board on Monday supported a motion by Director Frank Drigotas that the targeted estimated cost to renovate the facilities be no higher than $42 million for KHS — with no relationship with the Southern Maine Center for the Visual and Performing Arts — $4 million for Consolidated and $9 million for M. L. Day.

The motion states that the Facilities Committee oversee the work of developing new construction proposals, reengaging each of the building committees and members of the public to develop these plans for consideration by the full Board at the June 2 meeting.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New RSU 21 plan would keep all schools, reconfigure population

KENNEBUNK – Architects presented a plan on Friday that could keep an elementary school open in the three communities of RSU 21 while reconfiguring the student population, keeping Sea Road School and possibly reducing construction costs.
The Facilities Committee is exploring options after voters in January failed a $75 million proposal to renovate Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day School, and Kennebunkport Consolidated School by a two-to-one margin.

Architect Dan Cecil discussed the option with the RSU 21 Facilities Committee Friday, under which Sea Road School could house all fourth and fifth grade students from Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, while Kennebunk students in kindergarten through third grade and Arundel students in fourth and fifth grades could attend Kennebunk Elementary School.

Under the plan, Mildred L. Day School and Consolidated School could hold students in kindergarten through third grade in those towns, which would reduce the work needed at M.L. Day and Consolidated by four and three rooms, respectively, among other cost savings.

The costs of the plan are not yet known, Cecil said, but he did say the district would face costs of running four elementary schools – as opposed to three which is currently the vision within the district's master plan that suggests closing Sea Road School in the future.

“The idea was would there be a way to shift students around so they could go to school closer to their house,” Cecil said. “The point is that you end up running four schools instead of three and you're going to have some operational costs.”

In addition, he said the plan could make for small student populations at M.L. Day and Consolidated in the future.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Residents to RSU 21 board: Cut costs, close schools

By Jennifer Feals
February 26, 2014 4:08 PM

KENNEBUNK — Cut costs, eliminate a standalone performing arts center and turf field at Kennebunk High School, and explore school configuration.

These were the sentiments of some residents who spoke during a public forum held Tuesday night by the RSU 21 Board of Directors, the first since a $75 million plan to renovate Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School failed by a 2-to-1 margin on Jan. 21. While the district’s Board of Directors and Facilities Committee have met since the January referendum and have begun discussing how to move forward, this was the first meeting focused on public input.

“I think most people understood a ‘yes’ vote, but there were many, many reasons people voted ‘no’ and it’s important to get an understanding of what some of those ‘no’ votes were about,” said Kennebunk resident Rachel Phipps Costin.

More than 50 residents of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel as well as town officials attended the forum held at Kennebunk Elementary School on Tuesday night. Among the public input was a desire to see the cost to renovate the facilities drop by $15 million to $25 million, the possibility of bringing each building project to the voters separately, even putting forward separate warrant articles on portions of the project like athletic improvements, and proposals for exploring school configuration.

For some, the $75 million price tag was just too high.

“I am a graduate of KHS and I think we need a new high school. That being said, I think we need to be concerned about the dollar value and I think that’s one of the main reasons that the voters voted this down,” said Kennebunk Selectman Dave Spofford. “It was just too large a number.”

Arundel resident Jack Reetz, a former board member who serves on the RSU’s Facilities Committee, feels the $75 million price is “just right.”

“The costs are real. By the same token, nobody wants increased taxes but there’s no free lunch and if we’re going to do it and if we’re going to do it right, then it’s going to be in that order of magnitude,” Reetz said. “I would suggest let’s do it once and let’s do it right. It doesn’t make much sense to cut back.”


Friday, February 14, 2014

Stay Informed | Comp Plan meeting 02 12 14

Arundel Maine YouTube Channel

Stay Informed | Selectmen's meeting 02 10 14

Arundel Maine YouTube Channel

2013-2013 School Board of Directors Meeting Data | Please stay informed and share your feedback, concerns and ideas:

Video streaming by Ustream 

2013-2013 School Board of directors

February 3, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

On January 21, 2014, the voters of RSU 21 rejected the district's proposal to borrow just under $75 million to renovate Kennebunk High School, Kennebunkport Consolidated School, and Mildred L. Day School. 

In an attempt to gather as much feedback as possible as to what type of plan would be more acceptable to the citizens of our three towns, we are providing this opportunity for you to submit your ideas and suggestions. 

Your submission will be read by the administration and members of the facilities committee as they develop a plan for a future referendum.

Ckick here to submit your feedback, concerns and ideas...

Hussey: Cut $15M from school plan, drop arts center

KENNEBUNK — Renovations to Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School should cost no more than $60 million, voters should have a say on elementary school configuration, and RSU 21 should terminate its partnership with the Southern Maine Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, says the chairman of the district's Facilities Committee.

These are some of the recommendations Tim Hussey made during Thursday's committee meeting - the second since a $75 million plan to renovate Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School failed. Hussey said it's pretty clear that proposal failed because the scope of the projects was too big.

“If we do reduce the scope I think we can get this passed,” Hussey said.
In a series of recommendations on how the district should move forward, Hussey suggested the committees reviewing each of the projects return to the drawing board and come back with proposals for no more than $45 at KHS, $10 million at ML Day, and $4 million at Consolidated.

While members of the committee discussed aspects of Hussey's recommendations before an audience of approximately a dozen residents, the group made no decisions and will meet again on Friday, Feb. 28.

RSU 21 board regroups after $75M plan fails

KENNEBUNK — During the first meeting of the RSU 21 Board of Directors since voters turned down the $75 million renovation plan, residents nodded their heads as a board member noted reasons the plan may have failed.

Director Amy Johnson said she was approached everywhere from restaurants to social media to the grocery store leading up to the January vote, and said residents shared their oppositions for a variety of reasons. Voters rejected the $75 million proposal - to renovate Kennebunk High School, Mildred L. Day School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School – by a more than 2-to-1 ratio, with a total of 4,870 votes against and 2,110 votes in favor of the renovations.

“It’s everything from the turf field, they didn’t like the January vote, frankly it’s too much, they didn’t want their taxes raised, they didn’t understand the difference between the arts center and an auditorium, they didn’t like the expanded arts center plan. I think there were some people that just voted no the first time because they wanted to see what we could come up with the second time,” Johnson said. “People in the audience are nodding saying they fell into some of these categories. One of those things touched everyone in this room.”

Community members, town officials and school staff filled the meeting room at Kennebunk Elementary School, where the board met for more than two-and-a-half hours, after an hour-long work-session. The work session focused on board members’ involvement in social media and using it as a resource to share information.

Looking at ways to get a closer look on why residents voted the way they did, the board voted to explore a community survey. They also discussed holding community forums, and starting an online discussion forum.

Town hall location selected

Although another option is left open, Arundel selectmen pinpoint a Limerick Road site

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

— The board of selectmen voted Monday night to move forward with plans to build a new town hall on Limerick Road while also keeping the option of a Bergeron Road location open.

The decision by the board came after a survey was sent out by town administration in early December asking residents specifics about the prospect of a new town hall and the favored location.

Given four possible locations for a new town hall – Limerick Road, Bergeron Drive, Route 111 and Route 1 – residents voted in favor of a Limerick Road location. Residents who participated (approximately 140) also voted that construction costs for a new town hall should fall between $1 million and $2 million.

At the Feb. 10 meeting, Ryan Senatore of Senatore Architecture and Will Conway of Sebago Technics presented information about the Limerick Road lot and a proposed building layout to the board.


RSU 21 schedules public forum for Feb. 25

The RSU 21 Board of School Directors will hold a public forum Tuesday, Feb. 25 for the purpose of receiving public input regarding facilities challenges that are facing the district.

The forum will allow the public the opportunity to share their ideas about how the board should develop capital plans for consideration by the voters. The forum will be held in the gymnasium at Kennebunk Elementary School beginning at 6 p.m.


Message from voters was clear

Dr. Steve Maraboli, bestselling author, speaker, and behavioral science academic, once wrote, “Get out of your own way… stop the paralysis by analysis … decide what you want, create a simple plan, and get moving.”

It would seem that our RSU 21 board could benefit from this advice. At its meeting on Feb. 3, considerable time was spent dealing with the resounding defeat of a $75 million spending question, one of the single largest school bond requests in Maine history that experienced an unprecedented turnout for a single-issue, off-cycle vote in of all months, January.

That townsfolk among our three RSU communities “misunderstood” the well meaning message to approve the spending seems logical to our board.


Assistant superintendent to retire

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer 
KENNEBUNK – After serving the district for nearly eight years, Assistant Superintendent Sara Zito is retiring. The announcement was made by Superintendent Andrew Dolloff at the Feb. 3 school board meeting – just before Dolloff publicly announced his resignation.

Zito has been assistant superintendent for RSU 21 since 2011; before that she was the principal of Kennebunk Elementary School for five years.

“She is the consummate professional,” Dolloff said of Zito, with whom he has worked for three years. “You know she cares deeply about students and their academic, social, and emotional progress, and she has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about how to reach students and the type of programming that would be beneficial to them.”

“She came to us with a teaching and leadership background that took her from New York to Seattle to Kenya and New Delhi,” Dolloff said. “Her experience, knowledge and compassion are just a few of the tremendous things she can bring to the table. I’m very happy for her that she’s able to do this now while she still has a tremendous amount of energy and good health,” Dolloff said.

Zito, perhaps unlike other assistant superintendents, opts for a very hands-on approach.


Dolloff leaving RSU 21

KENNEBUNK — RSU 21 Superintendent Andrew Dolloff has accepted a position as superintendent of the Yarmouth School District effective July 1.

Dolloff, who joined the district in June of 2009, said the decision was both a personal and professional one and that there is much he would like to accomplish during his remaining five months in RSU 21.

Community members and school officials say there is no doubt that Dolloff's departure from RSU 21 is a loss to the district and the community.

“I am very sorry for the district, the community, and especially our students, that Andrew will be leaving,” said school board director Tim Hussey. “He has unique leadership skills and has done an outstanding job here. He will be missed, for sure, but has made a major impact and will leave us in great shape.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

York County man honored for Vietnam service 44 years after his death

Posted Jan. 23, 2014, at 6:45 p.m.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — More than 44 years after his death, Terry Drown was honored by the state of Maine for the courage that cost him his life.

Terry F. Drown, who was born in York County on Oct. 24, 1944, died in Quang, Ngai, Vietnam on June 11, 1969, while serving in the U.S. Army as a SP4.

Drown’s closest surviving family member, his sister Betsy Drown-Chadbourne of Arundel, received his Maine Gold Star Medal of Honor Award.

“My parents would have been honored, I’m sure. My mom cherished his other medals and had them in a case right over her bed. I am happy to see Terry and the other vets that received this medal be recognized by the State of Maine for their service,” Drown-Chadbourne said.


Failure of $75 million school bond has RSU 21 officials seeking alternatve

Many agree that the resounding defeat means that a new plan will have to be changed substantially.

A resounding vote Tuesday against a $75 million school renovation plan in Regional School Unit 21 leaves school officials in the unenviable – but not unheard of – position of trying to come up with a new plan to sell to voters.

The three-school renovation bond, believed to be the largest ever proposed in the state, was turned down by 69 percent of voters in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel. Despite that vote, school officials say they will go back to voters with a revised plan because the problems at Kennebunk High School, Kennebunkport Consolidated School and Mildred L. Day School in Arundel are only going to get worse.

In recent years, officials in South Portland, Scarborough and Freeport have presented – and received approval for – scaled-back school building projects that were initially rejected by voters.

Voters in RSU 21 could be asked to consider a new renovation plan as early as June.

“We will seek input from the community about what level of expenditures will be acceptable,” said Superintendent Andrew Dolloff. “The issues aren’t going to go away.”

The RSU 21 vote – which fueled passionate debate across the district – was not as close as some in the area predicted. More than two-thirds of voters in the three towns voted against the plan, sending a clear message about a proposal opponents said was too expensive for taxpayers to shoulder alone. There is no state funding available for the projects.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Results by Article

Article 1:

Do you favor authorizing the board of directors of Regional School Units No. 21 (the “RSU”) to issue bonds or notes in the name of the RSU for school construction and minor capital projects in an amount not to exceed Seventy-Four Million Eight Hundred Thirty Thousand Seven Hundred Eleven Dollars ($74,830,711) to renovate, equip, and construct additions and/or new school facilities at the following:

  1. Mildred L. Day School located on the existing school lot on the Old Limerick Road Arundel;
  2. Kennebunkport Consolidated School located on the existing school lot on School Street in Kennebunkport; and
  3. Kennebunk High School located on the existing school lot on Fletcher Street in Kennebunk?

Article 2:

Do you favor authorizing the board of directors of Regional School Units No. 21 (the “RSU”) to issue bonds and other evidences of indebtedness in the name of the RSU in an amount not to exceed $1,799,421 through the State of Maine’s zero interest rate/loan forgiving Revolving Renovations Fund Program for Priority 1 Health, Safety and Compliance repairs and improvements at Kennebunk High School, Kennebunkport Consolidated School and the Mildred L Day School (“the projects”)?

A. Zero Interest/Loan Forgiveness Program: The Maine Department of Education has approved RSU loans in the amount of $1,799,421 through the State’s zero interest rate/loan forgiveness School Renovation Fund Program for the Project.

B. Loan Forgiveness: The Maine Department of Education has authorized the forgiveness of approximately 30.0% (up to an estimated $539,826) of the total loan amount.

C. Interest Free Loan: The RSU will be obligated to repay approximately 70.0% (up to an estimated $1,259,595) of the total approved loan amount over a ten-year term. The loan program provides for repayment at a zero interest.