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Question six on November 8 ballot includes $290,000 for UMFK building repairs and upgrades

September 30, 2005



Damage to the brick façade on Powell Hall at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, caused by many years of freezing and thawing, is visible in the area near the building's roof.

Three infrastructure repair and upgrade projects totaling $290,000 at the University of Maine at Fort Kent are included in a $9 million referendum question Mainers will decide on this November.

Question six on the ballot asks voters: "Do you favor a $9,000,000 bond issue to make building renovations at campuses of the University of Maine System, improve and expand the facilities of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine and make building renovations at campuses of the Maine Community College System?"

If approved on November 8, UMFK would proceed with work on three deferred maintenance projects campus officials have listed as high priority.

The largest amount of money, $170,000 is dedicated to completing a re-roofing project on the University's SportsCenter.

In the summer of 2000, phase one of the project was completed when a new roof was placed on the section of the building above the gymnasium and multi-purpose room, which houses the University's weight training facilities.

The second phase of the project would include the restructuring and enhancement of the roof support system, as well as the re-roofing of the lower section, above the classroom and locker room facilities on the west side of the building.

"The SportsCenter was constructed in 1975 and the lower section still has the original roof. It is 30-years-old, badly blistered and in need of replacement," said Richard Bouchard, UMFK's director of facilities management.

A second project funded at UMFK through question six, is a replacement of the existing fire alarm system in the Fox Auditorium.

The $70,000 project would replace the existing alarm equipment in the University's performing arts facility. The auditorium is the only venue of its kind in the St. John Valley and is heavily used to host both campus and community events.

Fox Auditorium's existing fire alarm system is the original from the building's construction in 1969.

The final UMFK project included in the bond issue is designated to both repair the brick façade and to reshape the outer edge of the roof of 40-year-old Powell Hall. Estimates peg that work at $50,000.

According to Bouchard, decades of freezing and thawing have caused the brickwork on the residence hall to pull away from the building.

Powell Hall was constructed in 1965 as a two-story men's dormitory. Today the co-educational residence hall has the capacity to house 70 students.