Dike Newell School, seen this week after the fires of June 10 and 13. Maria Skillings / The Times Record

Administrators are still figuring out where Dike Newell Elementary School students will learn in the fall, after portions of the building were deemed beyond repair in the wake of a fire there earlier this month.

“The K-1 wing has been deemed salvageable,” Regional School Unit 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel said this week. “The other part of the building, over 50%, has been deemed a total loss.

“We are currently exploring different options for the fall, portables on the current site, or using another facility,” Manuel added.

Manuel said at this time it is unclear what alternate facilities could be used.

Allan Thomas Vigil of Bath, who police say set the fire, is at Two Bridges Jail, facing an arson charge — a Class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Vigil allegedly admitted to police that he started the June 11 fire, according to court records released after Vigil’s first video court appearance, on June 13.


Investigators from the Office of State Fire Marshal, Bath Police Department and Bath Fire Department determined the fire at Dike Newell Elementary started in an art storage room, according to an affidavit.

While Vigil was in jail, the school fire reignited two days after the original fire, likely due to residual embers, and was extinguished by noon the same day.

Vigil is due to appear at West Bath District Court on August 24.

Manuel said there has been an outpouring of support from the community.

Next month, the Bath Elementary Parent Teacher’s Association will host a fundraiser, the “Bee Kind Benefit for Dike Newell School,” giving all proceeds directly to Dike Newell School staff to replace supplies lost in the fire.

To raise funds, the PTA will host a golf tournament, a silent auction and a bake sale.

With live music and a free buffet, the event will take place from noon to 10 p.m. July 16 at the Bath Golf Club, 387 Whiskeag Road in Bath.

For more information, visit facebook.com/DikeNewellSchool.

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