BATH — The Maine Department of Education approved the concept design and proposed budget for a new Morse High School and Bath Regional Career and Technical Center on Sept. 13, the day after a local straw poll also indicated general community support .

“They asked a couple good questions, but they were very supportive, and we appreciated that,” said Regional School Unit 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel.

Regional School Unit 1 serves the communities of Arrowsic, Bath, Phippsburg, and Woolwich, and students from West Bath and Georgetown.

The locally-funded balance of $7.2 million heads to a referendum vote on Nov. 7 for the four member communities of RSU 1. Approval will allow for spending up to that amount, but if the design committees can get the cost below that, the full amount won’t be bonded.

“We’ll be moving forward getting prepared for the referendum in November,” Manuel said. “Making sure that people understand the general design, the tentative design, and what’s in there that’s local and what that means.”

Some of those locally-funded items are additional gymnasium space to allow for two separate physical education facilities; increased seating in the theater from 500 to 700; more cafeteria and library space, plus a geothermal heating system.

Based on $100,000 property valuation, an Arrowsic homeowner would see an additional $17.59 in taxes annually; Bath, $31.69 annually; Phippsburg, $13.87 annually; and Woolwich, $30.96 annually, the $7.2 million in local funding is approved.

For more information, visit www.rsu1.org.