Woodstock board continues discussion on Union Church

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WOODSTOCK — The Board of Selectmen continued discussing Tuesday evening what to do with the vacant Union Church building on Andrews Road.

Discussion on what to do with the one-room church began during the 2014 annual town meeting, when voters were asked whether to raise and appropriate up to $4,500 to make repairs to the granite foundation.

While several residents said they wished to see the church repaired, others believed it was past the point of repair and should be sold or torn down.

The church was built in 1856 and has not been used for decades. The original contents have been removed. It sits on 0.6 acres.

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The town formed a committee and, after meeting several times during the summer of 2014, they agreed that the building should be removed and the land be used for a parking lot and a memorial.

A year later, the church is still standing.

“What do we want to do about this, guys?” Board of Selectmen Chairman Ron Deegan asked the rest of the board.

“From what I understand, if no one decides to purchase the building, it’s going to be demolished,” Selectman Stephen Bies said.

Town Manager Vern Maxfield said that he wishes the town could put some kind of sign in front of the building that said, “Building For Sale.”

“I don’t think anyone wants to see that building completely torn down,” Maxfield said.

Alison Alosio, a reporter with the Bethel Citizen, a Sun Media Group publication, told Maxfield and the rest of the board that she was writing a story about a Fryeburg resident who disassembles old buildings and rebuilds them.

“He did it with a barn in Bethel, and he said he does it with other kinds of old buildings,” Alosio said. “I saw the agenda for tonight’s meeting and decided to contact his wife to see if he’d be interested.”

Alosio said that the wife returned an email claiming that her husband had “admired the building for the past 15 years,” and wanted to know who to contact.

“Wow, that’s amazing,” Maxfield said.

Selectman Mike Nadeau said that he feels moving the building to a new location by disassembling it, and then reassembling it, would “make people happy, rather than seeing an excavator come by and knock it down.”

Alosio said that she was unsure when the Fryeburg resident would be available to do it, but would provide him with the Woodstock Town Office’s contact information.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net

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