MILO, Maine — It’s not an idea that Robert Ade likes, but the SAD 41 board member thinks it is time to start considering closing Penquis Valley High School, he said Tuesday.

A Class of 1991 Penquis Valley graduate, the 42-year-old has five children in the school system and owns Allie-Oops Sports Bar of Milo and Pat’s Pizza restaurants in Dover-Foxcroft and Milo. His school loyalty runs deep, he said, but Ade sees the Milo area facing the same crunch that towns such as East Millinocket and Millinocket are facing.

Milo’s population is declining, town officials fear that the property tax rate could increase from $21.30 to about $30 per thousand of valuation next year, and an engineering firm estimates that bringing the system’s three schools up to code could cost about $6 million, he said.

SAD 41 students might get more educational opportunities at Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, said Ade, whose wife, fellow school board member Alyson Ade, first discussed the idea at a school board committee meeting on March 25.

“I am trying to be proactive and say hey, let’s start looking at different options and start thinking out of the box,” Ade said Tuesday. “I don’t care what direction we go in, but there has to be three things at the top of the plan. You have to have your plan based on facts and not emotions. You have to offer better educational opportunities for the kids, and our mill rate has to be lowered in Milo.”

“Otherwise,” Ade said, “your plan isn’t worth considering.”

School board Chairman Arthur Herbest said that the board is not considering closing the high school at this point. However, a group opposing the idea is meeting at the town office at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Residents of the SAD 41 towns of Atkinson, Brownville, LaGrange and Milo are invited, group leader and retired PVHS English teacher Edwin Treworgy said.

“We want to have an open discussion about the facts relating to this,” Treworgy said Tuesday. “The opposition to it would come from the figures not showing any substantial savings from it.”

Sending the high school’s 178 ninth- to 12th-graders to Foxcroft, about 13 miles away, might hurt them. Tradition is a powerful part of the opposition. There has been a high school in Milo for almost 120 years, he said.

“There is a tradition of having a high school here and it’s a good high school. I taught there myself for 28 years,” Treworgy said.

But updating the school buildings could push the town’s mill rate to $34, which would make the town unattractive to businesses and future residents, Ade said. The high and middle schools also fall below state average proficiency ratings in reading and math.

Ade said he sees the grades as not reflecting teachers’ proficiency, but rather the chronic underfunding of education in northern Maine. He encouraged residents to consider the issue carefully.

“It is just an idea. It is not like it is happening,” Ade said.