POLAND – Selectmen voted Tuesday night to lease the second floor of the old town hall to the Union 29 adult education program while the Mechanic Falls Town Hall is being renovated.

The board’s approval came after members of the Poland Historical Society objected to a proposal to lease the one-room schoolhouse to Union 29. The schoolhouse is located on the grounds where the town office building and old town hall are located.

Former Selectman Reginald “Bud” Jordan spoke on behalf of the Historical Society.

“They felt quite shunned that you people would go along with this,” Jordan said, adding that the second floor of the old town hall would be an appropriate place to house the adult education program for the approximately seven months that the program would be forced out of its home in Mechanic Falls.

“I feel the residents of Poland should not have to step up to the plate,” said a woman from the Historical Society who didn’t identify herself. She suggested that Union 29 look for space in Mechanic Falls or Minot.

At a town meeting in 1996, voters approved the renovations of the schoolhouse. Selectmen Chairman David W. Corcoran said the town has invested $62,700 of the approximately $90,000 spent on the historic school. Private donations and fund-raising by the Historical Society brought in more than $27,000 used to renovate the building.

The selectmen voted in March to accommodate the adult education program while the Mechanic Falls Town Hall is being renovated. Those renovations are expected to begin in June and be completed late this year.

The board in March discussed housing the program in the old schoolhouse building. The original request by Union 29 was for use of space in the old town hall building including the stage area. Due to questions about safety and accessibility in the stage area it was decided to use the schoolhouse.

A decision is expected on Friday on the date that offices will move out of the Mechanic Falls municipal building.


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