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Re-districting could be a hot topic in Lewiston

LEWISTON (WGME) -- Re-districting could soon be a hot topic again in Lewiston. After being shot down last year, it will be up for discussion again Monday night.

Superintendent Bill Webster says the Martell School is old and overcrowded and a new school needs to be built but that means picking a new location and reconfiguring grade levels.

He says re-districting is the biggest hurdle they need to get over for this project to move forward.

Webster says the Martel School is number eight on the state's priority list and was built around 1930.

He says it doesn't have enough playground space, parking, the cafeteria is currently doubling as the gym. He also says thanks to its growing student population class sizes are too big.

The money to build a new school is there but first they have to figure out where the new school will go, and what students will go to the new school. He says that could mean students at existing elementary schools will be moved around.

Webster says: “I think any change even good change can be very stressful and families that are accustomed to one school, one neighborhood, this group of teachers, friends and playmates. It's tough to change that because it's probably working for them. So we need to be sensitive to parents concerns.”

Webster will be meeting with the school committee Monday night. He says he hopes to get the green light to start the hiring process for an architect for the new school and also to form a re-districting committee that will have parents from all of Lewiston elementary schools.