By Carol McCracken (Post # 763)
About twenty people attended an information meeting last night hosted by Avesta Housing in which they were updated about the progress of its conversion of the former Adams School into 16 units of moderately priced condominiums. The two hour update was held at the community room of the former Shailor School, 195 North Street on the Hill. The units are expected to be for sale next spring – 2012.
Meeting facilitator Ethan Boxer-Macomber, Avesta Housing, overviewed the past few years and what lies ahead. In July 2008, Avesta submited a 40-unit housing and park proposal on 1.75 acres of land. But within the next few months, the economy soured and all financial sources evaporated – “over night” and “immediately” said Boxer-Macomber. “We were stuck,” he said. “We could no longer build 40 units on 1.75 acres of land.” Fortunately, City Councilor Cheryl Leeman learned that stimulus funds would become available to all states. It was with $1,724.00 of Maine’s allottment that Avesta was able to redesign the child-friendly development – on less property with 16 units – and that remains the current plan for development – as does Adams Park.
Demolition of the school is expected to begin next month and the entire process should last about 6 weeks said Boxer-Macomber. He also said that another informational meeting will be held just before the two-part demolition starts. The first part will take about two weeks and will be the removal of asbestos from the building. “There is lots of asbestos in that building,” said Boxer-Macomber. “About one half of this cost is asbestos related.” The building was built in 1958. The plan is expected to return to the city’s planning board in June with construction starting in the fall.
Christian Milneil, who lives in the Greater Munjoy Hill area, said: “I’d like to see more people live in this site. There are lots of people who want to live here and I think they should be able to live here.” During the Q&A session, he’d inquired as to whether the units had been designed for vertical expansion. They are not.
Boxer-Macomber expressed interest in setting up a web page for viewers to check periodically as to the progress of the development. For more information, please email him at www.avestahousing.org or call 207 553-7780 x 284.
Editor’s Note: For the most recent update on the construction of the former Adams School, a/k/ Beckett Green, please go to Post # 1,181, dated 7/20/12.