ABBOT, Maine — While recognizing that the former elementary school has sentimental value to some residents, a committee is recommending that the unoccupied wing of the school be demolished.
A special town meeting that was planned on the matter later this month has been postponed until 7 p.m. Sept. 14, in the municipal building. That move will allow town officials to include with the tax bills a memo about the town meeting.
The former school has two wings connected by a breezeway. One side of the wing is occupied by the U.S. Postal Service and the other side is vacant.
The committee, appointed by selectmen, was charged to investigate possible uses of the unoccupied wing, including use for town office functions.
Walter Boomsoma, a committee member, said the committee enlisted the aid of University of Maine engineering students who conducted a study of the building. The students determined it would cost about $200,000 to convert the wing into town office space. In comparison, the students estimated that it would cost $100,000 for an addition to the municipal office, he said Monday.
There are issues with the snow loads on the roof over the school wing and it has other structural problems, according to Boomsoma.
Just to bring the wing up to code for lease would cost about $100,000, and the wing can’t be sold because it basically would be nonconforming, Boomsoma said.
Demolition of the building is estimated to cost $25,000. The costs would be cheaper if the building were burned by firefighters.
Residents at the special town meeting also will be asked to adopt changes in the shoreland zoning ordinance.