RSU 1 Board Chair Stephen August speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Morse High School and Bath Tech building on Sept. 22, 2021. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

Longtime Bath-area School Board Chair Stephen August decided not to run for re-election next month, but no one is running to fill his spot on the board.

August has held a seat on the Regional School Unit 1 board for nine years, and served as chair for about four or five years, he said. No one thing pushed him to retire from the board, he said. Rather, he decided to step down because “After nine years on the board, we’ve accomplished a great deal. I felt it was a good time for me.”

RSU 1 includes Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg and Woolwich.

He said he first decided to run for the board because he was previously a member of a school board in New York before moving to Maine. When a chair opened on the RSU 1 board, he said he felt his experience would be useful to the district.

He also said he feels the completion of the new Morse High School and Bath Tech building bookends his tenure on the board.

“I wasn’t on the board when the project was initiated, but I was on the board throughout the planning and construction process,” said August. “We got through it on budget and pretty much on time, and we ended up with a great legacy.”

The district got approval from the state in 2015 to construct the new school building on Shipbuilders Drive off Congress Avenue in Bath, which would replace the nearly century-old former Morse High School at 826 High Street.

The $75.3 million building holds both Morse High School, RSU 1’s only high school, and Bath Tech, a career and technical center that offers nine areas of study to students enrolled at Morse High School, Boothbay Region High School, Lincoln Academy and Wiscasset Middle High School.

Construction was nearly complete, save for a few details in nonessential places in the school, when students began classes in the new building last February. The district, however, delayed its ribbon-cutting ceremony until last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though he’s pleased and relieved to see the school finished, he said he isn’t proud of any one thing the board accomplished over the past nine years, but doesn’t have any regrets either. He said he’s simply happy to have “maintained the strong educational offerings in RSU 1.”

“As a board, we’ve made the right investments in maintaining and growing those educational offerings in a way that’s fiscally responsible,” said August.

Though no one is running to take his position, he said he feels the school board will be successful no matter who fills his seat.

“I think we have a strong foundation in RSU 1 of faculty, staff, and parents who have been supportive of us and what we’ve tried to do, and that bodes well for the future,” he said.

The ballot will have a place for voters to write-in a name to serve on the board for a three-year term.

Incumbent Louis Ensel is also running unopposed to keep his seat on the school board for another three years.

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