Officials from Regional School District 71 are looking into the possibility of purchasing three former MBNA buildings in Belfast, including this one, to use as a school. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

BELFAST, Maine — The Regional School Unit 71 board of directors will no longer be looking into the feasibility of buying three vacant former MBNA and Bank of America buildings in Belfast to use as a consolidated elementary school for the five-town district.

David Crabiel, the chair of the RSU 71 board, said Saturday that the buildings are under contract to another buyer. That means the district will need to find a different solution to the issue of aging and too-small school infrastructure. The district is comprised of the communities of Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Searsmont and Swanville.

“We were going to explore the option,” he said. “Obviously the board’s going to have to decide what the next steps are. We’ve been discussing this for years.”

Information about the other buyer was not immediately available.

At a school board meeting last month, directors heard that buying the buildings would be much less expensive than building a new school outright. The board was in the process of forming an ad hoc committee to gather more information about school consolidation and purchasing the buildings. But now the board will have to pivot, Crabiel said.

“The good news is that we’re not facing an immediate deadline,” he said.