Deadline nears for proposals to redevelop North Yarmouth school

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NORTH YARMOUTH — With about a week to go before the town’s deadline, the town hasn’t received any proposals to redevelop the former North Yarmouth Memorial School property.

The Board of Selectmen last month unanimously approved a request for proposals for redevelopment of the 20-acre parcel, which School Administrative District 51 closed in June 2014 and turned over to the town.

As of last week the town had received two inquiries about the project, Town Manager Rosemary Roy said in an interview Jan. 20. The town sent out more than 30 RFPs to developers and firms, she added.

“That’s really not too unusual,” she said about the lack of proposals. “A lot of times it’s the last week that things start popping in.”

If none are received the town will consult with its attorney about options, Roy said.

The RFP follows the directive of a referendum approved by the town in November 2015.

The referendum called for the town to cease all work toward developing the school as a municipal and community campus, with creation of a municipal sewer system to facilitate new development.

It also called for Wescustogo Hall – the community-gathering place destroyed by fire in 2013 – to be rebuilt as stipulated in a 1997 agreement with the town; to maintain and renovate Town Hall; to have the town seek proposals for the school building; garner citizen feedback on all proposals, and have any plans for the school go for a town vote.

Roy will review responses that come in to ensure they are complete and meet the town’s criteria. The Board of Selectmen will then hold at least two public hearings to receive feedback on the proposals.

Based on that input, the board will narrow down the proposals. The leading one will requiring approval at Town Meeting.

Information on the RFP can be found at northyarmouth.org. Those seeking more information can reach Roy at 829-3705, ext. 28, or manager@northyarmouth.org.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The deadline for proposals for the reuse of North Yarmouth Memorial School is Wednesday, Feb. 3.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.