Gorham’s schools are aging and its population is growing. Village Elementary School, above, opened in 1962 and its most recent major renovation took place in 1988. File photo / American Journal

The Gorham School Department this year plans to ask the state for a new high school and a preK-Grade 5 school to consolidate Narragansett and Village elementary schools.

“Our buildings are aging and our community is growing,” Superintendent Heather Perry said in an email to the American Journal this week. “We have known this information for some time, which is why we have planned for two (Maine Department of Education-) funded building projects for several years now.”

Perry said a long-term plan has been in place “well before” recent discussions of the proposed housing development on Robie Street, where Village Elementary School is also located.

“As a School Committee, we have clearly communicated the need for two capital construction projects for our schools within the next 10 to 15 years,” Perry wrote.

The 65-year-old high school opened in 1959 with its last renovation in 1994; the middle school is more than 20 years old; Narragansett Elementary was built in 1981 and 22 modular classrooms have been added in recent years; Village Elementary opened in 1962 with a major renovation in 1988; and Great Falls Elementary, opened in 2011, is the latest of the town’s five schools and was funded mostly by the state, according to School Facilities Director Norm Justice.

The district is considering modular additions at the high school within the next year or two, Perry said, as a mid-term solution.


School officials in the past have cited an increased need for more classrooms at the high school, along with an expanded cafeteria, security improvements and more parking.

The district has conducted past studies on how to alleviate overcrowding at the high school, and came up with a $96.8 million expansion proposal in 2019.

“Our need for expansion/renovation is not yet dire, but if nothing changes it will become so in the not too distant future,” Perry wrote. “We need to continue to invest in mid-term solutions while we identify appropriate funding, hopefully with state assistance, to address our long-term needs.”

The district is soliciting architectural and engineering services for assistance in applying for MDOE capital construction projects for the 2024-25 cycle.

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