James F. Doughty School in Bangor as pictured in this April 30, 2012, file photo. Credit: Terry Farren

School buildings in Bangor may be undergoing an infrastructure makeover in the next few years.

The school committee unanimously voted to contract Oak Point Associates for a facilities study to assess all 11 school buildings for required updates or possible consolidations, and to use $170,000 from the reserve fund to pay for the facilities study.

“Some of our buildings, you can only put so many coats of paint on them,” Superintendent Betsy Webb said. “It is really is time to say that in the next decade, they may need to be fully gutted and renovated.”

The school buildings in Bangor are 50 to 100 years old. After Oak Point Associates, an architecture firm based in Biddeford, surveys the condition of the buildings, the architects will recommend options for future growth and expansion, maintenance and repairs, and possible construction.

The school department owns land on Griffin Road, which may be suitable for construction of an elementary school.

According to Webb, educational needs have changed since the buildings were constructed. Enrollment projections in the Bangor area are expected to decline during the next decade, which also needs to be factored in while surveying the buildings for proposed changes.

If the City Council votes to approve this spending, the school department will hire Oak Point Associates to prepare a facilities report with recommendations by early May.

The $170,000 that the school committee approved is just the fee to be paid to Oak Point Associates for conducting the facilities study, not the cost of any actual infrastructure work.

The school department’s reserve fund contains $263,000 left over from projects from the past 30 years.