Hampden Academy reuse forum Thursday

Posted Jan. 24, 2011, at 9:14 p.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — A public forum held by the SAD 22 board of directors to discuss options for future reuse of Hampden Academy will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, in the school’s library. A forum originally scheduled for last week was postponed.

Last year, voters approved a $51.6 million construction project for a new Hampden Academy on land adjacent to the town’s existing middle and elementary schools between U.S. Route 202 and Route 9.

SAD 22 directors and Hampden town councilors have been at odds over what should happen to the school once the new facility is completed by the fall of 2012.

School officials have pushed for an educational use that could generate revenue to offset rising education costs. Town officials are more interested in exploring a multipurpose town center that could expand the tax base and provide value to a broader population segment.

Thursday’s public session will feature a number of agenda items for discussion, including:

  • An analysis of partial demolition options and environmental considerations.
  • A market analysis involving a possible partnership with the University of Maine.
  • A presentation by Knowledge Transfer Alliance, a broad collaboration of UMaine departments, business assistance agencies, local community and economic development districts, and private sector representatives.
  • A review of state law governing reuse of public schools.

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