The school is located in North Berwick and is part of School Administrative District #60, which covers the towns of Berwick, North Berwick, and Lebanon, rural communities with a combined population of about 15,000. The area experienced such growth in recent years that its 1,000 high school students were crammed into a building meant for 600, and overflowing into 14 trailers. Besides needing more space for educating its youngsters, town residents wanted a new building that could also function as the hub of the three towns.
The new, $33.9 million facility, which meets those goals, was completed in September 2001, designed by Harriman Associates of Auburn and Portland, Maine, a full-service firm that provided both architecture and engineering services. The school's teaching methods put a priority on collaboration and interaction among students, and there is intensive community use, more than in most schools. Finding ways to balance the need for occupant comfort with the needs for energy efficiency and system flexibility was a necessity.