Due to overcrowding over the years modular classrooms have had to be added to Scarborough’s primary schools, including this school year at Eight Corners. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

SCARBOROUGH — On Monday, June 6, Scarborough Town Council held a virtual community forum presentation on the K-8 Strategic Project and New Primary School.  

The meeting was a follow-up to the first community forum held on May 11. The meeting focused on education and visioning for a new primary school in Scarborough. 

 The presentation informed residents on the process of selecting a school site, site analysis, reviewing the site selection criteria, and how the data is translated into identifying locations for the school.  

“The building committee is composed of district leaders, elementary principals, teachers, board of education members, town councilors, and community members,” said the Scarborough Board of Education in an emailed statement. “The committee has been meeting twice a month since January and looks forward to sharing progress and receiving input. This second community forum will focus on the site selection process and hearing community feedback on priorities and goals for the process.”  

Al Palmer, of Gorrill Palmer Consulting Engineers, Inc., is working with the school department to find a new site for the new primary school and stated that the consultants guide the site selection process. Still, the decision is ultimately up to the community and the school board to decide where the school should be constructed.  

Palmer discussed the 11 steps to the preliminary site selection criteria, including safety, environment, location/future expansion, utilities, soils/topography, traffic/transportation safety, public services, cost, availability, community involvement, and local criteria.  


During the meeting, Lisa Sawin, an architect at Harriman, asked residents where they would prioritize the 11 site selection criteria. The top five things that residents felt were most important were location/future expansion, traffic/transportation safety, environment, and public service.  

Residents could also vote on the general area they would like to see, the new primary school. Many of the participants would like to see the school near the Downs.    

“I think it is important to point out that the facility’s needs, K-8 these are not new problems a lot of our buildings in particular K-2 and at the middle school we have already exceeded the capacity of our existing schools,” said Superintendent Geoff Bruno. “Our current infrastructure does not support basic educational needs for our students, and we need a sustainable solution to house our current population and likely enrollment to grow in the future.”  

The goal is to consolidate the three primary schools as part of a K-8 strategic solution, remove all 30 district portables, alleviate overcrowding at the middle school, and strategically coordinate and align the project with other community initiatives and the comprehensive town plan.  

The following community forum will be held in September or October 2022, where design ideas will be discussed. For more information on the project, visit https://www.scarboroughschools.org/board/standing-committees/building-steering-committee.

“The next forum we have scheduled will be this fall,” said Sawin. “We know it’s tough to engage in the summertime, so the next time we will have a forum will be September or October. That will be where we start to talk about crafting the design statement, really the vision for the building project.”

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