UMaine panel OKs sale of Stone House in Freeport

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BANGOR — A University of Maine System committee on Tuesday approved the sale of the Stone House, a century-old building in Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport, which is owned and used by the University of Southern Maine.

The system’s full board of trustees will vote whether to finalize the decision to sell the building at its meeting on Sept. 21 and 22.

The former residence, which was built in 1917 and donated to the university in 1984, is used by about 250 people for about 40 days per year, according to meeting materials.

It would cost the university $8.5 million for “required maintenance and infrastructure improvements” and $75,000 to $110,000 per year thereafter to maintain it, those materials state.

The building is valued at $1.15 million.

It is used by the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program, the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference and a summer program offered by the Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts.

Those programs will continue in a different location.

The UMS board of trustees’ finance, facilities and technology committee was scheduled to vote on the Stone House in June, but the vote was tabled to further involve the Wolfe’s Neck Farm Foundation in the decision.

Dick Campbell, chief financial officer at USM, told the trustees the foundation supported the university’s decision to sell or transfer the building.

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Students gather outside the Stone House in Freeport in this July 2013 file photo.