Rockland board to review $500,000 Lincoln Street Center renovation

Posted March 13, 2013, at 11:27 a.m.
Last modified March 13, 2013, at 1:31 p.m.

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ROCKLAND, Maine — Rehabilitation of the Lincoln Street Center and expansion of a large warehouse are projects to be reviewed by the city’s planning board next month.

Orchid LLC purchased the Lincoln Street Center complex for $125,000 in December from Camden National Bank. The bank had taken possession of the historic complex in August after the Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education surrendered the building. The corporation submitted an application to perform $500,000 in renovations to the 44,000-square-foot building over the next six months.

The planning board is scheduled to consider the application for a conditional use permit at its April 2 meeting.

Mario Abaldo of Rockland, who is a principal partner in Orchid, said he wants to operate a cultural center in the building. The plan is to lease space for art, dance, yoga, glass blowing, karate and other types of studios.

One of the planned renovations involves upgrading the gymnasium and theater inside the former school building. The gym will get a new floor and ceiling and the theater will get a new sound system. Those spaces will then be available for rent, Abaldo said.

A new elevator also will be installed.

The plan is to begin work as soon as the planning board gives approval. Abaldo said he hopes to have the renovations completed and the facility open in less than than six months.

He said the complex also will receive a new name, although what it will be has yet to be decided.

The building was constructed in 1867 and served as Rockland’s high school until 1962, when Rockland District High School was built. The school then served as a junior high and later a middle school until 1996, when it was closed because of concerns about air quality.

The nonprofit Lincoln Street Center organization later formed and purchased the building from Rockland.

Orchid will be paying property taxes on the building since it is a for-profit corporation.

The planning board on April 2 also will consider an application to expand a warehouse on upper Park Street by 37,600 square feet.

The estimated cost of the expansion of the warehouse owned by 341 Park St. LLC is $930,000. The warehouse is currently 57,500 square feet.

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