FARMINGTON – A donation has brought the funds raised to make Fairbanks School a community center to $75,000, Fairbanks Neighborhood Association representatives announced Monday.

The Farmington-based Sandy River Charitable Foundation has announced a $20,000 donation toward a capital campaign to fund reconstruction of the former school, which was destroyed by fire in the 1990s.

Its basement is used as a food pantry, but the main floor sits unusable.

Members of the Fairbanks Neighborhood Association hope to turn the building into a community center, to be used for things like bean suppers, wedding receptions, and Boy Scout meetings, according to an association news release.

“It is an honor and a thrill that we have received this support from the Sandy River Charitable Foundation,” said association President Cindy Kemble.

The project is expected to cost more than $400,000, the release stated. A loan and grant money from the United States Department of Agriculture will pay $300,000 of the cost, but requires a local match of $105,000.

“People want to see the building resurrected – they want to see it come alive again. There is so much that can happen here,” said Fairbanks resident Tom Hagerstrom.

The association’s goal is to have the meetinghouse fully functional by next May.

For more information about the Fairbanks School Meetinghouse or to make a donation, contact Cindy Kemble at 778-3808 or send tax deductible contributions in care of the Fairbanks School Neighborhood Association to 201 Barlen St., Farmington, ME 04938.

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