BRUNSWICK — The Region Ten Technical High School board unanimously approved a 5-year contract Monday for six modular classrooms so the school can fully reopen to in-person instruction next school year.

Due to the current Department of Education requirements for reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic, Region Ten interim superintendent Paul Perzanoski said Monday that the school can’t fully reopen to students without the extra classroom space.

Region Ten hasn’t finalized its budget for next year, but as of Monday had budgeted $230,000 for the modular classrooms, Perzanoski said. The money will come from a combination of the school’s capital account, its 2021-22 budget, “and hopefully some additional federal money,” Perzanoski said.

Installation of the classrooms includes a one-time $73,625 fee, Perzanoski said. Region Ten is also responsible for the cost of building a concrete pad to put the classrooms on and any other construction costs such as connecting the modular classrooms to water, electricity and plumbing.

“The only reason that we’re doing it now is to be able to get in line for installation during the summer because these companies are extremely busy with many other districts requesting the same kind of classrooms,” Perzanoski said Monday.

While in school, the state requires adults to stay six feet apart from others and that students stay three feet apart. Students must be six feet apart while eating.

Perzanoski told the Region Ten board last month that there are nine programs that do not have adequate classroom space to distance students as required by the state education department if Region Ten were to open full time. The school has students divided into two groups, and students are only at Region Ten in person twice a week.

Region Ten serves Brunswick School Department, Maine School Administrative District 75, Regional School Unit 5, as well as students from public charter school Harpswell Coastal Academy, Lisbon and Morse high school and homeschool students.

The school offers hands-on programs, including nursing, firefighting, culinary arts, automotive technology and building trades.

Region Ten board member Karin VanNostrand asked Perzanoski if the possibility of renting space nearby was considered as an alternative to leasing portable classrooms.

Perzanoski said the school hasn’t looked into renting space because students would have to be transported off-site and back. Students already lose time while being bussed to and from the sending schools.

“I’m not sure that’s going to be advantageous to try to maintain the program in an easy, fluid fashion,” Perzanoski said.

The board unanimously approved the five-year lease.

“Hopefully we won’t need it five years for COVID but for future expansion,” said board member Rick Bray.

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