Brunswick Planning Board OKs reuse of Skolfield House

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BRUNSWICK — Plans for a new assisted-living facility at the former Skolfield House on Cumberland Street received final approval from the Planning Board Tuesday night.

Brunswick resident Amy McLellan can now begin remodeling the building, which has been vacant since October, into what she and contractor Dick Campbell call “the next generation of assisted living.”

Plans for redeveloping the 1980s-era brick building were met with enthusiasm from the Village Review Board last week. It unanimously issued McLellan a “certificate of appropriateness.”

McLellan plans to “warm up” the building with forest green shutters and trim, window boxes, and a new entrance that matches the historical character of surrounding buildings.

The facility, which will be called “The McLellan,” will house five independent-living apartments, 13 congregate-care units, and an owner-occupied unit. McLellan works as a nurse at Central Maine Medical Center, and will transition to working and living at the new facility full time.

She developed the business plan with assistance from Coastal Enterprises.

The home will also have five common spaces, including a pub, a theater room, and a fitness center.

McLellan says the base price for a unit will start at $1,500 a month, and increase based on the services a resident needs. The maximum will be $2,900.

Other site developments include building a 10-bay clapboard garage in the parking lot, and removing two off-street parking spots on Union Street so service vehicles have a better space to turn around.

Planning Board members urged Campbell to keep as many trees as possible that flank the parking lot when constructing the garage.

At the suggestion of Board Vice Chairwoman Margaret Wilson, board members also directed Town Planner Jared Woolston to add a condition of approval asking the Parks and Recreation Department to assess the new project and see if any recreation fees should be required, since the project is a new residential development.

The board unanimously approved McLellan’s plans, and there was no public comment.

McLellan said she plans to close on the acquisition of the property by the end of the month, and complete the project over the summer. She hopes to open the facility in October.

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or wwuthmann@theforecaster.net. Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

The former Skolfield House at 26 Cumberland St. in Brunswick.

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Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.