Voters to consider next year demolishing costs for community building

Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal File Photo

Voters will be asked to consider demolition costs for the town's Brettuns Community at the annual town meeting in June 2014. It was constructed in 1915 and used as a two-classroom school. Studio design students from the University of Maine at Augusta are shown in this file photo visiting the building in 2011 to come up with designs for a new town office.

LIVERMORE — There will be an article on next year's town meeting warrant to to consider costs to demolish the town's Brettuns Community Building on Church Street.

Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal File Photo

A design student at the University of Maine at Augusta takes measurements at the Brettuns Community Building in Livermore in 2011. Voters at next year's annual town meeting will be asked to consider costs to take it down.

Residents who stayed after the town meeting ended Wednesday reached a consensus that an article should be appear on the June 2014 warrant, administrative assistant Kurt Schaub said. The costs would also need to be figured to put in a pressure tank in the Highway Garage and reroute the waterline for the library.

Tina Quirrion, chairwoman of the Budget Committee, brought the matter up to see what the town wanted to do with it because it minimally maintains it and it's hardly ever used, he said.

It was built in 1915 as a two-classroom school, he said. After the elementary school on Gibbs Mill Road was built in the 1960s, the building was no longer used as a school.

The town stopped using it for town meetings about five years ago because it does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Schaub said.

It used to be used for family gatherings, wedding showers, wedding ceremonies and other events.

The building is structurally in good shape but it would take a tremendous amount of work to make it usable for the public. It would be a considerable investment to bring the building up to standards, which include building a handicap accessible ramp, widening doorways, updating restrooms, he said. It would also need updated plumbing and electrical systems. He estimated it could easily cost $30,000 to $40,000 and that does not include doing necessary cosmetic work.

There is a drilled well on the site between the Lakeside Cemetery and the Highway Garage, which is behind the community building. There is a pressure tank in the basement of the community building. The well serves that building, the garage and the town's library across the street.

If voters decide to demolish the building, a pressure tank would need to be installed at the garage and the water line rerouted to the library, Schaub said.

The town used to heat the building all winter, but when oil prices skyrocketed there was work done to insulate the tank and a small electric heater installed in the basement, he said. The town now pays about $45 a month during the winter to make sure the water does not freeze.

Previously it was $1,200 to $1,500, and it would be more now.

It would take a community group to commit to developing a plan to update the building and raise funds for it to be saved, he said.

There are grants available that could help but the commitment needs to be there, he said.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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Maine, the Way Life Should Be.

Not so much.

Not with the demolition of the heritage that makes Maine "different."

Like this community center. Like Lewiston's St. Joseph's. Like Waterville's St. Francis de Sales church. Like....

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