New Elementary Building Project

building project

  Upcoming Meetings

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 6:00 pm
Building Committee Meeting

SAMS Library
Agenda »

  News & Information

April 13, 2023

State Board of Education gives unanimous approval to MSAD54's Margaret Chase Smith Community School project

The State Board of Education voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the Design and Funding Approval phase of the project, giving the $75,338,985 project approval to move forward. The project, which is more than 95% state funded, includes a local-only fundraising effort coordinated through KVCAP with the help of an amazing team of local project supporters. As of April, the fundraising effort has raised roughly $2.4 million dollars! This fundraising effort will significantly reduce any impact the project may have on local taxpayers. If you or those you know are interested in supporting the project (every gift helps), visit the fundraising page at:  

With unanimous State Board Approval, the project will be moving forward quickly. The district will begin accepting bids from contractors starting on April 13th, with Bid Openings scheduled for May 18th. The project anticipates breaking ground by July, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025.


April 4, 2023

New Elementary School Notice To Contractors

The district anticipates making drawings available on or about April 13th with bid opening occurring on May 18, 2023. Interested subcontractors or pre-qualified general contractors should review the following notice:

February 16, 2023

MSAD 54's New Elementary School Gets a Name

The MSAD 54 Board of Directors voted to approve the following name for the new state-funded elementary school in Skowhegan:  The Margaret Chase Smith Community School. Although there were numerous suggestions for the name, many of which were connected to the community and our history, the Board chose to support the overwhelming first choice of the public by supporting the name, which represented 72% of the votes cast from 2,333 responses.

The project, which began in 2017 with the application to the state, has been a multi-year collaborative effort with all involved.  District voters supported the $75,338,985 project overwhelmingly at referendum in June of last year.  Over 94% of the project is funded directly by the state, with 5.9% being funded locally. Thanks to the amazing support of our community local fundraising efforts, which began this past fall, have already raised over $2.3 million dollars toward the project. Anyone wishing to donate can visit the following website:

The District anticipates breaking ground on the project this summer with an anticipated building opening in the fall of 2025.

View updated plans:

December 1, 2022

New elementary school playgrounds

The Building Committee will be reviewing draft designs of the playgrounds at the new elementary school at our next meeting on 12/7/22, at 6:00 in the Skowhegan Area Middle School Library.

View draft designs:

new playground draft

November 23, 2022

Name for new elementary school

The MSAD 54 Board of Directors is seeking feedback from our communities including our students, staff, parents, alumni, and residents about the name of the new elementary school that is being built in Skowhegan. Please take a moment to complete the following short online survey:

Early in January, the Board will review community feedback and make a final determination on the name for the new school.  We sincerely thank you for your feedback. Should you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to us or review information on this page.

November 21, 2022

New Elementary School Playground

Below are draft plans for the upper elementary playground at the new elementary school. These plans will be refined over the next few weeks including at meetings with all elementary staff (11/22), the Parent Advisory group (11/29), and the Building Committee (12/7). Anyone interested in attending meetings or giving feedback should reach out.

View plans »

June 15, 2022

Voters Overwhelmingly approve MSAD 54's Consolidated Elementary School Project

On June 14, MSAD 54 voters overwhelmingly approved the district's plan for a $75,338,985 new elementary school.  The school, which will combine North Elementary School, Bloomfield, Margaret Chase Smith, and grades 3-5 from the Canaan Elementary school, will be primarily funded by the State of Maine.  The project, which began in 2017 with the district's application, will create a Birth through Grade 5 elementary school, the first of its kind in the state.  As part of the project the district is expanding its current age 0-3 childcare programming at Bloomfield into an early childhood center in the new school.

The state has agreed to cover ½ of the costs for our existing programming, and the district is working with our community partners including KVCAP, to raise funds for the project.  After construction this building will serve students from early childcare (6 weeks of age) through grade 5, as well as house our SCTC (Somerset Career and Technical Center) early childhood education program (students in grades 10-12).  Over the summer district architects will be working with staff to finalize design plans for review by the state early this fall.  The school is slated to open in the fall of 2025.

May 11, 2022

State Board of Education Votes Unanimously to Support MSAD 54's Building Project

The State Board of Education reviewed MSAD 54's plan for a State Funded Consolidated Elementary School on the Margaret Chase Smith site. The project, which total $75,338,985 is 94% funded by the state, with 3-4% anticipated through fundraising, and 2-6% in local only costs. The district was commended by the State Board for providing a well thought out and comprehensive design that will benefit students in MSAD 54 for years to come. The next step for the project will be a community-wide referendum vote on June 14th.

April 29, 2022

State Construction Committee Votes Unanimously to Support MSAD 54 Building Project

District Superintendent Jonathan Moody presented before the State Construction Committee on April 29th. Committee members asked questions and scrutinized the district's Consolidated Elementary School project. The Project, which is funded primarily with state dollars, was commended for its scope and design. The project will go before the State Board of Education at their next meeting in May.

April 28, 2022

Community Supports Building Project with Unanimous Straw Poll Vote

MSAD 54 administrators and Stephen Blatt Architects shared the Final Concept Design plans for the District's Consolidated Elementary School building project. At the meeting, which included nearly 70 participants, members of the community were given an extensive presentation on the project and had the opportunity to engage in a discussion around specifics of the project. The project, which is projected to cost just over $75 million, is funded primarily by state funds. The only local cost, which is 6% of the project, will be reduced with a fundraising campaign spearheaded by KVCAP and community partners. Should the roughly $3 million fundraising goal be reached, the district cost to the taxpayers will be reduced to approximately 2% of the total project cost. After questions and answers, those in attendance voted unanimously to support the project moving forward to the State Board of Education, and a June 14th referendum vote in our communities.  For a PDF of Thursday's presentation visit:

April 19, 2022

Updated MSAD 54 Building Concept Design Plans

The concept design phase of the MSAD 54 elementary building project is winding down after a year of feedback from staff and the community, including feedback gathered at numerous public meetings and through a community-wide digital survey. The updated concept design plans can be found here:  

On Thursday, April 28th, at 6:00 in the High School Auditorium, the district will be holding a presentation and update on the building project. This will include a presentation by the architects and engineers, discussion of the concept design and budget, and will conclude with a straw-poll vote to support the project. Following the meeting, the State Board of Education will consider the project for funding. The project, which is nearly entirely state funded, will have a tremendous positive impact educationally for the district for years to come. We hope to see you on the 28th!

March 10, 2022

Updated MSAD 54 Building Concept Design Plans

Concept Design Plans

MSAD 54's most recent updated concept design plans. The District Building Committee anticipates the Concept Design phase to receive DOE support in early April and expects to have plans to the State Board of Education by May, for a June 14th referendum. The District held numerous public meetings in the fall and will conduct a public meeting in April to provide a summary of Concept Design including the updated plans and scope of the project.

Concept Design Plans

February 4, 2022

School officials review early design plans for new Skowhegan elementary school

The school will be built on the property where the Margaret Chase Smith School now sits, replacing North Elementary School and consolidating some grades in the district.


November 15, 2021

Skowhegan district designing new elementary school to open in 2025

Classic with a splash of modern is the direction School Administrative District 54 in Skowhegan is heading as it works on the concept design for a multimillion-dollar facility that will consolidate four elementary schools and a preschool program.

The consolidated elementary school, projected to open in August 2025, may feature a library that caters to different age groups, a flexible physical education facility and design details such as lighting, ventilation, plenty of storage space and good acoustics in the cafeteria, which is where a stage would be built for presentations and performances.


October 14, 2021

Community Feedback Sessions on MSAD 54 Building Project

On Thursday, October 14th, Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer will be on site at the Skowhegan Area High School Auditorium, to talk about MSAD 54's State Funded New Elementary School.

The goal of this public meeting is to provide an update on the project and its progress (since state approval in 2019), and for the architects to have a dialogue with the community about what we want in our new elementary school.  The project, whose details can be found on the district website, anticipates completion of the new elementary school in the fall of 2025.  Architects Blatt and Breer have experience in the district, having designed and built both the Skowhegan Area Middle School and the Mill Stream Elementary School.  

An additional public meeting/discussion will be held on October 28th via Zoom.

It is very important to us that our community voices help shape both the design and function of the new elementary school.  We encourage you to join us in the auditorium tomorrow night for the conversation with the architects.

Tomorrow evening a survey link will be added to our website for community members to share their ideas and feedback on the building project.

Should you have questions about the building project or process don't hesitate to reach out to us at school at 474-9508.

September 23, 2021

Planning progresses for new elementary school in Skowhegan

If Maine School Administrative District 54 officials stick with the projected timeline, construction is scheduled to begin in June 2023 and the school would open in the fall of 2025.


MSAD 54 Building Project - Public Meetings

As I’m sure you know by now, MSAD 54 is well on its way toward having a new elementary school in 2025. The project, which began in 2017 with our application to the state, is progressing nicely along the state timeline for school construction. In July the State Board of education approved the Margaret Chase Smith School site as the site for our new school. Over the spring and into the start of the school year we’ve been working on educational specifications for the building and are entering the Concept Design phase of the process (see the chart).


July 14, 2021

Building Project Wins Approval by State Board of Education

MSAD 54 Superintendent Jonathan Moody met with the State Board of Education on July 14th. The committee unanimously supported approval of the Margaret Chase Smith Site for MSAD 54's building project and approved the process to move forward. For a complete view of the DOE building process visit:

For agenda and minutes visit:…

DOE Exhibit:…

The next MSAD 54 Building Committee meeting is slated for August 18th, at 6:00 in the SAMS Cafeteria.

June 26, 2021

DOE Construction Committee Supports Margaret Chase Smith Site for MSAD 54's State Funded Building Project

MSAD 54 Superintendent Jonathan Moody and Support Services Manager David Leavitt were joined by engineer Andy Johnston of Atlantic Resource Consultants, and Architect Pat Carroll of Carroll Associates Landscape Architects in a meeting with the State School Construction Committee. The team presented MSAD 54's project and answered questions from the committee. The Committee unanimously supported the MSAD 54 Project Site Selection of the Margaret Chase Smith School site and commended the district for their work. The next step in the process is to meet with the State Board of Education on July 14th.

For full committee minutes visit:

DOE Exhibit:…


Date: Monday, May 10th
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Margaret Chase Smith School Gymnasium

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 922 7971 1867
Passcode: 636882

This is an in-person meeting, but will include a Zoom option to be posted to the district website prior to the meeting on May 10th. 

In 2019, the state released an updated major capital school construction priority list. Of the 74 schools rated by the state, MSAD 54 had 5 schools identified:

  • North Elementary (#2)
  • Bloomfield Elementary (#23)
  • Canaan Elementary (#24)
  • Skowhegan Area High School/Somerset Career & Technical Center (#31)
  • Margaret Chase Smith School (#45)

The MSAD 54 Building Committee has followed the recommendation from Steven Blatt Architects and the state in pursuing a consolidated elementary school that will address the needs of the district for many years to come. This meeting will answer questions about the site selection process, including questions about the MCSS site. Future meetings in the fall and winter of 2021/2022 will focus on academics and programming.

View Flyer

  Past Meetings

March 29, 2023 - 6:00 pm @ SAMS Library
Building Committee Meeting
View Minutes »

February 1, 2023 - 6:00 pm @ SAMS Library
Building Committee Meeting
View Minutes »

January 4, 2023 - 6:00 pm @ SAMS Library
Building Committee Meeting
View Minutes »

December 7, 2022 - 6:00 pm @ SAMS Library
Building Committee Meeting
View Minutes »

November 29, 2022 - 6:00 pm (online)
Parent Advisory Committee Meeting Playground Review

October 26, 2022 - 6:00pm @ Skowhegan Area Middle School Library
View agenda » | View Minutes »

April 28, 2022 - 6:00pm @ Skowhegan Area Middle School Library
MSAD 54 Building Project Public Informational Hearing and Straw Poll
Presentation »

April 6, 2022 - 6:00pm @ Skowhegan Area Middle School Library
Public meeting on MSAD 54's Building Project with Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer
View Minutes » 

March 2, 2022  - 6:00pm @ Skowhegan Area Middle School Library
Public meeting on MSAD 54's Building Project with Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer
View agenda » | View Minutes »

February 2, 2022  - 6:00pm @ Skowhegan Area Middle School Library
Public meeting on MSAD 54's Building Project with Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer
View agenda » | View Minutes »

November 17, 2021  - 6:00pm @ Mill Stream Elementary School
Public meeting on MSAD 54's Building Project with Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer
View Minutes »

October 28, 2021 - 6:00pm on Zoom
Public meeting on MSAD 54's Building Project with Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer
The goal of these public meetings is to inform and engage stakeholders early in the design phase of the new state-funded elementary school project. This is an opportunity for members of the public to offer insight and ideas, and to identify community priorities. This public input and community involvement is essential to a successful, collaborative design process, and the creation of a wonderful new school facility.

October 14, 2021  - 6:00pm @ Skowhegan Area High School Auditorium
Public meeting on MSAD 54's Building Project with Architects Stephen Blatt and Doug Breer  

September 22, 2021 - Building Committee Meeting, 6:00pm at the Skowhegan Area Middle School.
View agenda » | View Minutes »

July 14, 2021 - State Board of Education Meeting, 1:00pm. For info visit:

June 25, 2021 - DOE Construction Committee, 1:00pm. For info visit: