I grew up in the Orono area, and attended 4th & 5th Grade at the Asa C. Adams Elementary School, and then 7th & 8th grade up at the Middle School/High School campus. And I I can tell you first hand, even way back when, those buildings needed work!

There were barely enough classrooms and only one small section of the building set aside for any kind of administrative office of sorts at the elementary level. The cafeteria was outdated and quite small, which got tricky because it doubled as the gym, so when I was a kid we had PE in an even smaller space because the lunch tables lined the room.

For as active a Performing Arts program as Orono High had, there's never been a proper auditorium or stage to perform upon at that building. And big events like graduation have always been held in the stuffy, echoing gymnasium. The parking lot out behind the high school has never really had enough spaces to hold the vehicles that  show up for sporting events on the fields.

The town has talked about making improvements to both facilities for as long as I can remember. So I find it really gratifying that talk has finally become action, and that the much needed changes are finally being made! It's very cool to see.

Courtesy Jeanna DeTour , Project Professional for Haley Ward

The project, which started last summer, is really beginning to visually take shape.

Courtesy Jeanna DeTour , Project Professional for Haley Ward

Project Professional for Haley Ward, the company overseeing the new construction and renovations, Jeanna DeTour, says there's a lot to what they're doing to the schools, and it's been great to see the progress being made.

Facebook: Steve Smith

"It is very exciting to see the renovation progress first hand. The project started July 2020 with a scope of new classrooms, administrative offices and cafeteria for Asa, kitchen, cafeteria, entry vestibule, classroom addition, and auditorium for the Middle/High School, and an extended parking lot, stormwater improvements and track and field for the campus.  The substantial completion date is 2022.  The project is going very well and we appreciate the students and staff at RSU 26 for their patience while work is on-going."

As someone very familiar with both the elementary and middle/high school buildings, I cannot wait to see the finished product. These are changes that have been needed for a long time, and the added space and improvements to both locations will offer the students in the Orono School system the opportunity to do so much more now.

Facebook: Steve Smith


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