A new pre-K-to-Grade 1 school being considered for the Greely campus in Cumberland could cost about $49 million.

That total also would allow for renovations at Mabel I. Wilson School and improvements to the middle and high schools if needed, architect Steve Blatt said at a joint meeting last week of the SAD 51 board, Cumberland Town Council and North Yarmouth Select Board.

“This is going to cost us far less than the earlier scheme,” Blatt said, referring to the $73.9 million pre-K-to-Grade 2 school project that 55% of SAD 51 voters rejected in 2022. “Our budget is conservative. We are not pushing boundaries.”

The Cumberland-North Yarmouth School Board voted in November to explore an on-campus option for the new school, which would alleviate overcrowding at Mabel I. Wilson. A voter-approved purchase of an abutting 2.3 acres of land opened the door to building the school on the existing campus.

Last week, the school board voted to enter into an option agreement to buy another half-acre of abutting land to add to the 2.3 acres purchased last June. The additional parcel would improve the design of the school and ensure expansion options for the facility, if needed, down the road, according to Superintendent Jeff Porter. The option agreement must be approved by voters as part of a complete bond package on a new school project.

“Our building fits on this strange site,” Blatt said.


The new pre-K-to-Grade 1 school would be 70,000 square feet with room for expansion on its second floor.

Porter is creating a financial plan for the school project, which could go to referendum on June 11.

“This is a draft,” school board Chair Leanne Candura said. “Everything we’re talking about is still being worked out and processed.”

As presented, the new school could accommodate the projected number of students over the next 10 years, Candura said.

Town Council member Ronald Copp said he does not like the idea of building a smaller school now when the town may need a larger school in the future.

“I hate the fact that we’re looking at future expansion on a new building,” Copp said. “If this goes to referendum and it passes, and you start construction in 2025, you’ll fill the school 18 months after that.”

The school board continues to work through the projected numbers to ensure that any new school will be able to accommodate future students, Candura said.

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