Engineers report on state of Oxford Middle School

OXFORD – The fate of the Oxford school district’s oldest building was the focus of an engineering report presented Wednesday to the school’s Facilities Advisory Committee.

Representatives of the Bernier Carr architectural and engineering firm from Watertown met in a public meeting last night at the Oxford Primary School to present its findings.

“I thought the meeting was a good first step in what will be a long, detailed process. I think the firm is doing an excellent job. They’ve provided us with a lot of information and kept us informed throughout the process. They are making sure we understand each step,” said Superintendent Randall Squier.

Oxford has been taking a look at what to do with its middle school building since it was badly damaged during the July 2006 flood. The structure’s hundred-year-old design proved vulnerable in last year’s severe floods and cost the school about $1.1 million in damages.

The brunt of the cost was paid by state and federal emergency aid. The district has each of its buildings – high, middle and elementary schools – insured at approximately $500,000. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has asked Oxford Academy to increase its insurance on the middle school to $1 million dollars.

“The middle school used all its insurance to help pay the damage suffered during the flood, and the premiums could cost the district three or four times as much,” Squier said.

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