Brunswick delays elementary school demolition until spring

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BRUNSWICK — On the advice of its architect, the School Board said Wednesday it will likely delay until spring the demolition of Jordan Acres Elementary School, where the town plans to build a new school to replace Coffin Elementary.

Architect Lyndon Keck said in July he wanted to take the building down this October and November, but he told a newly formed School Building Committee on Sept. 7 that the demolition no longer fits the project’s schedule.

Sarah Singer, who chairs the committee, said at Wednesday’s board meeting that the town’s proposal to remove the structure and build a locally financed $28 million, 90,000-square-foot school, which voters approved in June, requires a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Acquiring the permit will take about six months, which puts off demolition until around May.

That won’t affect the rest of the timeline, “only rearranges it,” Singer said.

After final design plans are finalized over the winter, the project will likely go out to bid in May; the bidding process will provide a window of inactivity when the demolition could easily occur, she said.

Keck said he expects construction to begin in June and continue for about a year to be ready for an opening in fall 2020.

The project will also require local building permits and go before review by the planning board. That process, which Singer said has yet to be scheduled, is anticipated to take significantly less time than the state approval.

In the meantime, Superintendent Paul Perzanoski said the delayed demolition will give the department more time to schedule a “goodbye party” for those who attended, taught at, or simply feel sentimental about Jordan Acres School.

The district will also hold a yard sale Saturday, Sept. 23 at the building, with the hopes of clearing out the desks, electronics, gym equipment, and miscellaneous items that have been stowed in the school since it was shuttered in 2011.

The Building Committee will meet next on Oct. 7, when they are expected to finalize the project timeline over the next nine months.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

The Brunswick School Board said Wednesday, Sept. 13, it will not raze Jordan Acres Elementary School until spring. Removal will make way for a new building expected to open in fall 2020.

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Reporting on municipal, school, and community news in Brunswick and Harpswell. Bowdoin graduate, Wild Oats sandwich-eater. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net.