Falmouth alternative school to move to Brunswick in July

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BRUNSWICK — The REAL School will move from Mackworth Island in Falmouth to Brunswick Landing in July.

On Wednesday, the School Board authorized a letter of intent for a lease at 14 Gerzovsky Drive, a 7,000-square-foot-space that Principal Martin Mackey said was the former Navy “information hub.”

Brunswick incorporated the alternative school, which meets needs for behaviorally and academically challenged students, in March, after RSU 14 dropped the program.

The REAL School has remained in Falmouth since then, although the plan was always to move the program to Brunswick.

The School Department will lease the property from Thomas Wright.

Wright owns several other properties on the former Navy base, including New Beat Market, Seeds of Independence, and the planned Flight Deck Brewing. 

Beginning July 1, the School Department will lease the space for $84,000 per year, according to the letter of intent.

“Hopefully (the building) will be ready for any summer programs,” Superintendent Paul Perzanoski said Wednesday.

Right now, the building is basically “a shell,” Mackey reported – but Wright is renovating the space to suit the needs of the school, which specializes in experiential learning.

Mackey said he was “especially excited about the open spaces the (former) base has,” such as hiking trails.

In an interview last August, Mackey noted a closer proximity to Brunswick could provide greater opportunities for partnerships between the school and local nonprofits and institutions, including Bowdoin College.

Mackey refrained from sharing any financial and logistical details regarding how students – many of whom come from other school districts – will commute to the new location; those plans, he said, are still in the works.

He reassured, however, that “we will still maintain out-of-district students.”

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

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.