June 26, 2019
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Arts center owner eyes purchase of Rockland school

Stephen Betts | BDN
Stephen Betts | BDN
Regional School Unit 13 plans to close the McLain School next summer.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The owner of a former school turned arts center is interested in acquiring the adjacent McLain School.

Regional School Unit 13 Business Manager Peter Orne said Thursday evening that the owner of the Lincoln Street Center contacted him earlier this year to express an interest in the McLain School which is used for administration offices, alternative education, and information technology.

Orchid LLC purchased the Lincoln Street Center building for $125,000 in December 2012 from Camden National Bank and has been renovating it to lease out to artists. Owner Mario Abaldo could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

The business manager made his statement as the RSU 13 board debated whether to spend up to $150,000 from the district’s contingency fund to replace the heating system in the school that is scheduled to be closed next summer. The action was needed because the boiler stopped working about a month ago and cannot be repaired, he said.

“It’s never a good idea to leave a building without heat. That would ruin the value of the building,” Superintendent John McDonald said.

The district had planned on closing the school in the summer of 2017 and offer it back to Rockland as state law requires. Rockland could then sell the building. If Rockland declined taking ownership of the building, the school district could sell it.

Those occupying the 1894-built three-story brick McLain School will be relocated to the South School for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

 



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