2012-11-09 / Community

Holy Cross gets technology upgrade

– Compiled by Staff Writer Jack Flagler


Students at the Holy Cross School in South Portland experiment with the 20 new iPads, which the school will use as part of its curriculum. The school purchased the iPads as part of a technology upgrade that also included new laptops for its teachers. (Courtesy photo) Students at the Holy Cross School in South Portland experiment with the 20 new iPads, which the school will use as part of its curriculum. The school purchased the iPads as part of a technology upgrade that also included new laptops for its teachers. (Courtesy photo) When most people envision an elementary or middle school classroom, they think of sharpened pencils and black-and-white composition notebooks, but classes at Holy Cross School in South Portland will look a little different in the future.

The school, with help from its technology committee, parish and community leaders, purchased 20 iPads for student use and laptops for each of its teachers. Dave Guthro of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, wrote in a press release that teachers at the pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school “are going through training to learn the best ways to apply the enhancements to their lesson plans.”

“This was a priority for the technology committee and the Holy Cross School Board,” said Holy Cross Principal Christine L’Abbe. “So many people pulled together to make this technology initiative possible.”

South Portland Land Trust finds new home

The South Portland Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the city’s trails, parks and green spaces, will be moving into a permanent home.

The city council authorized City Manager Jim Gailey to sign a lease with the land trust that will move the organization into the former electrical building located in Mill Creek Park for $1 a year.

“We’re really excited about the possibility of having a home, and we look forward to the use of this space,” said South Portland Land Trust President Carter Scott.

Scott said the land trust will use the location as a meeting place for work events in summer, storage for documents and ideally, down the road, a four-season meeting place with heat, electricity and bathroom facilities.

Mayor Patti Smith also noted the permanent location will provide the land trust with some much-needed visibility.

“Some folks are surprised we have a land trust in South Portland. People are still finding out about the website,” Smith said. “We do have a lot of trails in our city, a lot of open space, and the land trust has been excellent stewards.”

Previously, the building served as a military museum and the former home of the South Portland Historical Society.

City’s planning department goes solar

The old Hamlin School on Sawyer Street in South Portland serves many different functions. It’s the home of the city’s planning and development department, the winter farmers market and residents grow produce in the community garden outside. Soon, the multifunctional building will have a different look.

The South Portland City Council authorized a purchase power agreement with ReVision Energy to install solar panels on the roof of the building at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 5. The agreement means the Portland-based energy company will install the solar panels at no cost to the city, then sell the city energy under current energy supply costs. After seven years, the city has an option to buy the solar panels at about a quarter of their original cost, according to a memorandum to the council from City Manager Jim Gailey.

The council voted unanimously to approve the agreement and commended staff for organizing it as a forwardthinking move for the city that delves into an area the city hasn’t been involved in before.

Gailey said the city would consider more solar agreements like the one recently signed, but city hall is not a possibility because of its aging roof. The city’s community center has been ruled out because its slanted roof faces the wrong way.

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