RSU 10 to receive $1.16 million for wellness, fitness center at new Mexico school

Regional School Unit 10 officials learned this week that the district will receive $1.16 million from the federal government for a wellness and fitness center for the new school, which is shown in an architectural drawing. The school is to be built in Mexico at the site of Mountain Valley Middle School and nearby Meroby Elementary School to house those students and those at Rumford Elementary School. Submitted image by Harriman.

MEXICO — Regional School Unit 10 will receive $1.16 million for a wellness and fitness center for the school being built for prekindergarten through eighth grades in Mexico, Superintendent Deb Alden announced Wednesday.

“I have had it confirmed that the wellness/fitness center will be funded in its entirety through congressionally directed funding sponsored by Senator Collins, Senator King and Representative Golden,” she wrote in an email to RSU 10 directors and community leaders Wednesday. “This is such awesome news for our communities!”

The money was included in the $1.7 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last week.

The school construction project was approved by voters for the second time in November. It will be built on the site of Mountain Valley Middle School at 58 Highland Terrace and nearby Meroby Elementary School at 21 Cross St. It will replace those schools and Rumford Elementary School.

The school will accommodate up to 1,050 students and also serve children with disabilities from birth to 5 years old. Plans include a health clinic in partnership with Rumford Hospital and an early childhood education program run by Region 9 School of Technology staff and students.
It’s tentatively scheduled to open by August 2025.

“We’re really, really thrilled,” Crystal Duguay, chairwoman of the Wellness and Fitness Center Committee, said. “This is just a huge boost for us so we can focus on the pieces of the fundraising that we need to do.”

She said the eight-person committee started meeting in November and is working on how to make the center as functional as possible for all fitness levels and community members. The committee will probably try to raise another $100,000 to $150,000 to set it up as they’d like, she said.

Mountain Valley Middle School has some exercise equipment purchased with a grant in 2008.

“We really want community members in our school and using the resources that schools can provide, whether it’s fitness equipment or any other opportunities,” Duguay said. “We’re hoping this gym is a way to get people into our schools and people of all fitness levels.”

Access to the center will be by computerized key card or a separate entrance to the building.

The committee is also hoping to include space for community programs, including smoking cessation classes and weight loss support, with some services linked to Rumford Hospital. Other ideas are for an indoor walking route to use in the winter. “There’s really not a lot of safe spaces where you can put your (walking) steps in and the new school is going to offer that opportunity,” Duguay said.

The committee wants more members and anyone interested my contact Duguay at [email protected]

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