WINDHAM – The Regional School Unit 14 board decided Wednesday night to move forward with a proposal to close Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond.

The school board for Windham and Raymond considered six cost-cutting proposals that included closing Jordan Small or the Manchester School in Windham. The board decided against closing Manchester, and decided to get public input about closing Jordan Small.

The board will hold workshops at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Raymond Elementary School and at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Manchester School. It then will decide how to proceed. The closing of a school in either town would need voters’ approval.

On Wednesday, most board members favored an option to close the Jordan Small school and convert Raymond Elementary School to kindergarten through grade 8. That would save the district an estimated $774,439 in the next five years, but it would require major renovations to the elementary school’s cafeteria, gymnasium, library and classrooms for science.

Kate Brix, a school board member from Windham, endorsed the proposal, saying it would be the least disruptive for students and offer the most savings for the district.

“I believe schools are the backbone of our communities and give towns a sense of identity,” Brix said. “I have heard loud and clear that the citizens of Windham and Raymond want their children going to school in their communities.”

Board members Michael Mack and Michael Duffy, the vice chairman of the board, supported an option to close Jordan Small and send students in grades 5 and 6 to Raymond Elementary School.

Seventh- and eighth-graders would be bused to Windham Middle School, which would need modular classrooms. That option would save the district an estimated $765,939 in the next five years.

Jeraldine Keane, a board member, raised concerns about sending 107 more students to Windham Middle School, which is over capacity by 113 students.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect to send students to an already massively overcrowded middle school,” said Keane, who called it “a knee-jerk reaction to save money.”

School board member Catriona Sangster, who represents Raymond, asked the board to consider waiting to hear whether the district will receive funding for construction of a new middle school. If its application is approved by the Maine Department of Education, the Jordan Small and Windham middle schools will close. The district should know by next year where it stands on the state’s priority list.

Sangster said she wants to hear from the public.

“What is our long-term vision?” she said. “There are so many X factors out there.”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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