NORWAY – Norway Savings Bank’s plans to expand into the former downtown Newberry and Aubuchon buildings are getting closer to fruition, bank CFO Brian Shibles said Tuesday.

“We’re still in the planning stages but we’re very close to having a final floor plan worked out,” Shibles said. “We hope to get contractors shortly.”

The 12,000-square-foot space will be used for the bank’s training and technology center to relieve what Shibles said was an overcrowding situation at the downtown Norway office.

The bank purchased the building that once housed J.J. Newberry store in April for $515,000 from the Growth Council of Oxford Hills. The bank had been previously leasing the building. Last year, the bank also purchased an adjacent building that was once the home of Aubuchon Hardware.

Although no timetable has been established, Shibles said he hopes the move into the space will begin next year.

Marci Boughter of the Growth Council of Oxford Hills said that group purchased the Newberry building – it’s assessed at $276,900 – in 1999 to attract business to the area, but it never took off and eventually the group decided it was more economical to sell the building.

The council also plans to sell the nearby vacant Odd Fellows Building. Boughter said that will leave the council with one other commercial building, that is located in Bridgton. There are no plans to sell that building, she said.

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