Mitchell Field building in Harpswell to be demolished

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HARPSWELL — The town is moving forward with plans to demolish an unused maintenance building at Mitchell Field.

The 1,770-square-foot, cinder-block building is one of several remaining in the park, remnants of its past as a U.S. Navy fuel depot. 

At their May 1 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a bid request form for contractors to tear down the building and remove debris. Demolition will include disconnecting the building’s underground electrical, plumbing and water supplies.

Voters in March approved spending $25,000 for building demolition at the park.

According to Deputy Town Administrator Terri Sawyer, most of the buildings that remain are empty and unused. The Maintenance Building, as it is known, is in especially poor condition and has been the target of vandalism for several years, Sawyer said. 

The building is one of three along the shoreline, near the park’s dilapidated pier, which is blocked off because of safety concerns. The three buildings border two areas the town hopes to convert into marine business zones, part of a master plan to redevelop the park adopted by voters in 2007.

Contractors interested in the project will have the opportunity to tour the site with Code Enforcement Officer William Wells on May 14. Bids are due back to the town on May 23. 

The Navy closed the fuel depot in 1992 and Harpswell acquired the 119-acre plot from the federal government in 2001. 

At the meeting, selectmen also approved upgrades to the electrical and lighting systems in the town bandstand at Mitchell Field.

In a unanimous vote, board members authorized members of the town’s Bandstand and Energy committees to move ahead with the upgrades, which volunteers hope to have completed before a summer concert series starts in June.

Modifications include boosting the bandstand’s power, installing a new motion-sensor floodlight for security, and replacing the single cupola light with a string of weatherproof strip lights.

Committee members estimate the total cost for the upgrades at almost $2,600. The work is expected to be completed in time for the first concert in the Bandstand by the Seas series on June 19.

Peter L. McGuire can be reached at pmcguire@theforecaster. net or 781-3661 ext. 100. Follow him on Twitter: @midcoastmcguire.