Vote approaching for ski building addition

12 years ago

By Kevin Sjoberg
Sports Reporter

CARIBOU – When local voters hit the polls Tuesday, June 12, one item that will appear on the ballot involves an addition to the Caribou High School Ski Building that will serve as the new concession area for outdoor sporting events held at the school.

According to Rob Kieffer, president of the Caribou Athletic Boosters, a new state law is in place that requires anything over 600 square feet that is an addition to an existing school building must be approved by public vote.

The referendum question states: “Do you favor authorizing the Eastern Aroostook Regional School Unit 39 Board of Education to accept gifts for the construction of an addition to the Ski Center located at Caribou High School with all funds necessary to complete the project to be provided by the Caribou Athletic Boosters? (The RSU will incur no costs to construct this project. The Caribou Athletic Boosters will raise all funds necessary to complete this project.)”

He said the RSU 39 board of directors has verbally endorsed the concept but cannot approve it without a vote.

“We have a design that we have been working on for two years because our existing facility (which is attached to a storage building next to the track) is completely delapitated,” Kieffer said. “We’ve looked at all the options and have decided that an addition on the north end of the ski building is the best one.”

Kieffer said the boosters group has for several years been saving money to go toward the project and that the Caribou Rotary Club has also come on board to make a “major contribution.”

“It’s a donation of 100 percent of the materials and the construction costs,” Kieffer said. “There would be a cost to the school system, as it would then heat it and maintain it in the future.”

The boosters president is excited about the prospect of a new facility.

“It’s going to make our food serving capability more of a year-round option,” he added. “In the current building, things freeze and it makes it tough even for soccer games in the late fall. We have some pretty big ski races and have had no way to serve food, so this new building will be heated and the full complement of whatever our menu consists of will be available.”

Kieffer said if the addition is approved, volunteers from the community will be called upon “to come and help us to make this thing happen” — similar to what took place with the actual ski building itself.

“There are a lot of things in the existing building that are not up to code,” he said, “so we’ll take care of those things while also providing a better, more centrally-located food service area.”

He said if approved, the addition should be ready for the 2012 fall sports season.