Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the National Park Service (NPS) recently approved a request by the State of Maine and the Maine RSU 39 School System to transfer land in Caribou that will allow for the construction of a new school building for grades Pre-K through 8th.
“I am pleased that the NPS has agreed to this transfer, which will allow RSU 39 to work to obtain citizen approval for the construction of a new school,” said Senator Collins. “The project would replace three outdated schools with a new building that provides energy savings and increases safety for students, faculty, and staff. As an added benefit, the project would increase recreational opportunities for the community.”
“From the start of the project the City worked closely with NPS to make sure the RSU and the architects understood the importance of the 6f property here in Caribou,” said Caribou City Manager Austin Bleess. “The help that Senator Collins provided was key in getting this approval completed in a timely fashion. This project will benefit the citizens of Caribou and surrounding communities for the next several decades. We’re excited for this project to be moving forward.”
“The new school project for the Eastern Aroostook RSU 39 school district and the community of Caribou will transform and reinvigorate the city of Caribou and surrounding area for years to come,” said RSU 39 Superintendent of Schools Tim Doak. “Having an opportunity to build a new school in our community will provide teachers and students with a 21st century learning environment and help promote the importance of education throughout Aroostook County. It is my vision that this new school will also be a community hub for families as well as community organizations to meet, share and learn in a state of art building. The cooperation and combine efforts between the city of Caribou and RSU 39 school district has proven to be a model for other Maine communities.”
RSU 39’s plan proposes creating a new school by using a portion of Teague Park, which benefited from grants through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Consequently, the project required approval from the NPS. Senator Collins wrote a letter with Senator Angus King to NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis, calling on the NPS to give the request expeditious review and consideration. The NPS accepted the transfer in exchange for land in Caribou offered by the city and RSU 39.
Senator Collins was born and raised in Caribou and attended Caribou Public Schools.