Portland High School

Portland (Maine) district looks at combining two of its high schools

Jan. 12, 2022
The district has asked the state to provide funding to consolidate Portland High and Deering High.

The Portland (Maine) district is looking at combining two of its high schools, Portland High and Deering High.

The consolidation project would create a facility with career and technical and adult education programs, reports The Portland Press Herald

The district has submitted a request to the Maine State Board of Education for extra funding for the project. 

The district hasn’t settled on key details, such as where such a school would be situated or whether a third high school, Casco Bay, would be considered.

Both Portland High and the district’s career and technical center, Portland Arts & Technology High, are on the state’s list of major capital school construction priority projects.

Superintendent Xavier Botana said the district has asked to move those projects from the major school construction list to a different list called the Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Educational Facility Final Priority List.

Projects on the list require the consolidation of more than a single facility; the integration of career and technical education; and a robust postsecondary component. 

Enrollment in Portland, as in other districts around Maine, has been declining. From 2011-12 to the 2020-21, student numbers in the district dropped from 6,926 to 6,492, according to Maine Department of Education data.

In 2018-2019, an enrollment and facilities commission found that both Deering and Portland high schools were underutilized, but also said it wasn’t feasible to bring the two schools together on either of the existing campuses.

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