The Cape Elizabeth School Department, recognizing the need to align its school facilities with the evolving educational needs of students, has been working since 2017 to assess and upgrade its facility’s infrastructure.
Originally, in collaboration with Colby Company Engineering and Simons Architects, the decision was made to propose the construction of new schools. This initiative, starting in fall 2021, involved extensive planning and design processes, incorporating feedback from district staff, students, and the community. However, a building bond referendum in November 2022, which proposed a $115.9 million plan for new elementary and middle schools and additional renovations at the high school, was not approved by voters.
In response to this setback, the School Department and Town Council formed the School Building Advisory Committee (SBAC) in March 2023. The SBAC’s goal is to reassess and find alternative solutions to the aging infrastructure of Pond Cove Elementary School and Cape Elizabeth Middle School, ensuring that facilities meet the current and future educational needs of students. The committee is collaborating with construction and architectural experts to develop a feasible plan.
This reassessment has underscored the urgency for renovations or new construction at these schools, as the existing facilities are falling short of 21st century educational and operational goals. The sprawling design of the schools, particularly the middle school, hampers teachers’ ability to provide effective programming and a safe environment for students, impacting education on a daily basis.
For more information on the needs identified by the SBAC and its partners, please see the presentations embedded below.
Key priorities identified for improvement include:
- Enhancing safety and security
- Improving site plans for better vehicle and pedestrian movement
- Modernizing classrooms to support contemporary teaching methods
- Redesigning layouts for effective collaboration
Infrastructure upgrades also need to be addressed and include:
- Technology enhancements
- Improved natural lighting
- Adequate storage solutions
- Efficient HVAC systems
Presentation – Overview of Existing Conditions and School Needs
The SBAC is committed to identifying options that will adequately address these needs, overcoming the barriers posed by aging infrastructure that impacts the safety, wellbeing, and operating budgets. This approach is aimed at creating future-focused schools and classrooms that can adapt to various learning styles and needs, facilitating collaboration and group problem-solving, and providing flexibility for years to come.