Greenville school officials don’t have enough money to demolish old Nickerson building

Posted Jan. 09, 2013, at 11:42 a.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — Voters authorized the school committee to demolish the 49-year-old Nickerson Elementary School building last June, but nobody is expecting it to take place anytime soon. School officials have delayed the demolition because the poor economic climate prevents them from undertaking any nonessential projects.

While Greenville officials wait for better economic times, the board of selectmen received a preliminary demolition project assessment on Jan. 2 from a University of Maine graduate student. Greenville resident Amber Simmons presented a feasibility study about the proposed school demolition.

Simmons began the feasibility study in October as part of her final project in working toward a master’s degree in civil engineering.

Based on the study, Simmons estimated the demolition may take up to three months at an estimated cost of $151,196.

When Greenville officials are prepared to begin the demolition, she recommended that a structural engineer be hired to evaluate the building, consider other options such as possible renovations, determine the salvageable steel value, and research the roof addition specifications.

Town officials indicated that the feasibility study was beneficial in getting an overview about the demolition project, but they are reluctant to start any planning based on the report.

“There was a lot of great information and ideas included in the report, but at this point, I need to stress they are only ideas,” said Town Manager Gary Lamb. “The town has no plans moving forward with the demolition because the school committee just doesn’t have the money to proceed.”

In other business, Rene Hersey expressed her disappointment about not being reappointed to the budget committee. Hersey was part of a 10-person committee last year. She was left off the panel this year because the board reduced the membership to five.

Hersey wanted to know why the budget committee membership was reduced and asked the selectmen to review procedures for future town appointments.

“I was disappointed at not being chosen as a volunteer for this year’s budget committee. I felt I learned a lot last year and was better prepared to continue for my second year on the committee,” Hersey said. “If the board is ever short of volunteers in the future, maybe the board should re-evaluate your policy and procedures.”

The selectmen didn’t respond to Hersey’s statement, but Lamb explained the budget committee nominating procedure following the meeting. Lamb recommended several weeks ago that the budget committee be reduced to either five or seven members. The selectmen chose to limit the membership to five members.

“Rene is a very conscientious member of any committee she joins,” Lamb said. “I hope this doesn’t dissuade her from volunteering again because she takes her work very seriously.”

In other action, the town received four trash hauling bids. The town received one from its current provider, Wyndsaung Farms in Levant, along with Pine Tree Waste in Hermon, Moosehead Rubbish in Greenville and DM&J Waste in Winterport. Lamb will review the requests and make a recommendation during the board’s next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the municipal building.

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