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Auburn holds ribbon-cutting for new Edward Little, Maine's most expensive high school

The new Edward Little High School in Auburn on Sunday.
Susan Sharon
Maine Public
The new Edward Little High School in Auburn on Sunday.

Auburn high school students, faculty and staff will kick off their new school year this week in a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that replaces the old school built in 1961.

With a price tag of $126 million, principal Scott Annear says it's the biggest and most expensive high school ever built in Maine. Costs were revised upward during construction which coincided with the pandemic and after contaminants were discovered in the old building that required abatement.

With a price tag of $126 million, it's the most expensive high school ever built in Maine and includes a 1200 seat auditorium, new athletic fields and enhanced safety measures. Kristin Bishop with the Maine Board of Education says the school is planning innovative career and technical education programming.

"With plans to open innovative programs in cosmetology, culinary arts, EMT, early childhood education over the next year and to expand into firefighting, precision machining, biotechnology and composites manufacturing as well as trades exploration and medical exploration in years to come, this space will provide rigorous training and learning opportunities for students that align with the region's economic priorities and community needs," she says.

Enhanced safety features have also been incorporated in the building's design.

"Everything from painted floors to identify safe spaces to the amount of security that's been put into the front entryway and cutting out having multiple access points to the building. There are exits only and not entries," Annear says.

Hundreds of community members got a chance to tour the building Sunday afternoon following a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the shadow of the old Edward Little High School, which is scheduled to be demolished in the next few months.