ROCKLAND, Maine — The Regional School Unit 13 board is scheduled to meet next month to begin a comprehensive, long-range look at the future of the district, including whether buildings should be consolidated or closed.

“The focus has to change to the big picture,” Superintendent John McDonald said Wednesday.

He said too often the district has made changes without looking at the big picture. This time, he said, the district will hear from the community before it makes any recommendations.

“If we can save on building costs, then we can invest in programs such as world languages, gifted and talented, and music,” the superintendent said.

The district has wrestled for years with the number of buildings, many old and in need of repair, and a declining enrollment. RSU 13 has 11 buildings in six communities serving slightly more than 1,900 students.

A preliminary report presented to the board two weeks ago by the district’s facilities future committee cited high personnel and maintenance costs brought on by the number and age of the buildings.

The board is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at Oceanside High School East in Rockland to discuss the issue with administrators. There then will be hearings held across the district to get input from staff and the community in general.

McDonald said the goal is come to a consensus during this school year.

Among the issues to be studied will be whether it makes sense to have the high school broken into two schools — Oceanside East, which educates students in grades 10, 11 and 12, and Oceanside West in Thomaston, which serves eighth and ninth graders. The district created that configuration in 2011.

Whether to continue having two middle schools for the district also will be examined. In April, the board voted unanimously not to merge Rockland District Middle School and Thomaston Grammar School. Board members said not enough information had been presented to make such a decision.

That vote came after an August 2013 vote of the board to merge the two schools by September 2015.

Another possibility cited in the building committee report involved consolidating the Owls Head Central School and the Gilford Butler School in South Thomaston. The closure of the Gilford Butler School had been supported in a nonbinding board vote at the same August 2013 meeting.

Gilford Butler serves students in kindergarten through second grade. Owls Head has students in the third and fourth grade. Gilford Butler was built in 1954 and Owls Head Central in 1952.