The Westbrook City Council, the Westbrook School Committee and the Building Committee for the new Westbrook middle-school project are continuing to hold informational meetings for Westbrook residents regarding the upcoming referendum on funding for the facility.

The council will also hold its second public hearing on the referendum on Monday starting at 7 p.m., in Room 114 at Westbrook High School.

At a citywide vote on Tuesday, May 22, residents will cast ballots on the proposed new school and associated bonding.

In two separate ballot questions, residents will vote on whether to approve the $29.4 million school, which would be state funded, and to authorize $4.1 million in local spending to pay for an auditorium.

The new school would replace Wescott Junior High School. It is referred to as Westbrook Middle School, although its official name has not yet been chosen. As designed, it is a three-story facility built on the 65-acre plot off Stroudwater Street the city purchased from Thomas DeWolfe and Elizabeth Faye in April 2006 for just under $990,000.

The school would come with technological advances that would make it the most energy-efficient school in Westbrook, operating at about $90,000 less in its first year than Wescott Junior High currently does, according to designers from Harriman Associates. One of those advances is a lighting system that turns on and off depending on whether anyone is in the school. Another would be a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Geothermal systems use groundwater below the school site to help maintain a comfortable temperature in the building. Groundwater about 1,500 feet below ground stays at a constant temperature of between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, the groundwater is warmer than surface water, and in the summer it’s cooler. Using a series of wells and pumps, the water is pumped up and incorporated into the heating/air conditioning unit.

The remainder of the informational sessions will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

Ward III, Tuesday, May 8, Saccarappa School Cafeteria; Ward V, Monday, May 14, Prides Corner School Gym; and Ward IV, Tuesday, May 15, Congin School Cafeteria.

Further information can be found at the Web site, www. wescottproject.org.

Pre-referendum meetings continue on new school


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