YARMOUTH — After 50 years, the Yarmouth Historical Society plans to move from the third floor of the Merrill Memorial Library to the Water District building at 118 East Elm St.
Chairwoman Linda Grant said the new location will be a sustainable and exciting new home for the society.
“We looked at other locations, but to be close to the Royal River makes a lot of sense,” she said. “The river has so much to do with the history of this area, it’s a nice fit.”
Executive Director Michael Chaney said the Town Council approved a lease option and agreement last week for the long-term use of and improvements to the Water District building. He called the approval a “giant step” forward.
“This is an exciting time for the organization,” he said.
The Water District will move to a new location on Sligo Road, and depending on construction, the Historical Society could have access to its new space in about six to nine months, Chaney said.
The building on East Elm Street will used to house historic documents, a research area, bathrooms, a meeting space, gallery and a multi-purpose room.
Vice Chairman Curt Scribner said the Historical Society plans to renovate the existing Water District building and add an additional 1,700 square feet.
“This space will allow us to offer educational opportunities that were not possible in our current location,” Scribner said. “The new location will provide the space for students and school groups to access documents and research materials. We won’t need to transport information to the schools.”
He said if all goes according to plan, the Historical Society can gain access to the Water District building by the end of the year. The actual move is expected to take place in 2012.
“This is a wonderful asset for the community and this move would not have been possible without the help of (Town Manager) Nat Tupper and the council,” Scribner said. “This new building is an amazing opportunity for the Historical Society and for the residents of Yarmouth and the surrounding area.”
The Yarmouth Historical Society signed a long-term lease to move to the Water District building at 118 East Elm St. This is a rendition of what the building will look like after renovations and an addition.