Posted January 02, 2019 18:01:54As Maine architects prepare to enter their second year of school in the 2019-2020 school year, some have taken to social media to share their thoughts on their pay and benefits.
“We’re getting paid pretty well,” said Maddy Smith, who works at the Maine Architecture Foundation, an architectural organization based in Augusta.
She said the foundation’s board has seen a drop in funding over the past year, with the loss of a large-scale $40,000 grant.
In 2019-20, the foundation received $4.8 million from the state, and that was in addition to a $10 million loan secured by a mortgage on the Maine Convention Center.
The Maine Association of Architects said it was surprised to see a decrease in grant funding, but that it’s not the whole story.
“There was an increase in grants for construction, for the construction of the Maine National Guard barracks, and so on,” said Robert Smith, a vice president of the association.
“And then there was an even higher increase for architectural projects in the last couple of years, and we’re seeing a lot more of that in the coming years,” he said.
Smith said he expects to see even more of the same next year.
The foundation is working with its contractors to find a more sustainable funding source for their work.
The organization will have a working plan for how it will maintain the funding source through the fall, he said, though he declined to name which contractors might have been targeted.
The association has a working group working on a new contract with the state that would increase the state’s contributions, Smith said.
He did not specify how much the state would be paying for the improvements.
He said the organization was pleased to see more funds being spent on the building.
“The building itself is fantastic,” he told News24.
“The people who are there, it’s a great facility and they are great workers, and they do great work.”
Maine Architecture Foundation spokesman Jeff DeCarlo said in a statement that the foundation is committed to a sustainable future for architects and is in contact with its board of directors to discuss future funding options.
“Building the new Maine National Guardship Barracks is one of our top priorities, and the foundation has been involved in discussions with the building’s contractor and has been working to establish an agreement with the State of Maine for a project that is in the best interests of the State and the architectural community,” DeCarco said.