North Yarmouth school redevelopment plan fails at polls

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NORTH YARMOUTH — A redevelopment proposal for North Yarmouth Memorial School failed at the polls Tuesday, 968-360, according to unofficial results.

Meanwhile, Anne Graham won one contested seat on the Board of Selectmen, while Peter Lacy and Jim Moulton tied for the second.

The proposal, endorsed by the Board of Selectmen and submitted by A.H. Grover Co. of North Yarmouth, included demolishing sections of the 120 Memorial Highway (U.S. Route 9) school building, but preserving the gym and stage area as part of a space of approximately 8,900 square feet. Grover would build a new Wescustogo Hall of approximately 7,800 square feet on an existing foundation and concrete slab, attached to the existing building.

The new Wescustogo would replace the Grange destroyed by fire in August 2013.

Rob Wood, a former selectman, was among many residents who opposed the proposal, desiring that the town take a step back, form a master plan, and work from there.

“I was gratified that so many residents came out and voted, and thought about the future of our town,” Wood said Tuesday night. “There’s no them or us, no winner or loser; we’ve got to figure out what to do together. We don’t want to keep going back and forth here.”

Linc Merrill, a proponent of the question, called Tuesday’s decision “kind of helpful to the overall process,” noting that since the vote to re-site Wescustogo Hall at the NYMS property failed, the grange will be rebuilt at its original location.

Graham earned 796 votes, while both Lacy and Moulton received 408, according to unofficial results. Nelson Smith received 299, and Paul Metevier 164.

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  • s80t6

    For me, at least, the idea of the Hall, a community center, gym and athletic field on the site was appealing. Cramming 30+ age restricted homes onto 10 acres was not. “Build it, and they will come” is not always the answer – just look at the under-utilized park and ride in Yarmouth or the sidewalks in Falmouth (although the landscaping is nice). It also would have been way out of character for the area. Moulton was a loud proponent of this latest proposal, a view unfortunately shared by the current BoS. It’s almost as if they were chastened by the first vote and decided to dump this turkey on the voters instead of seeking better alternatives or developing a real plan.