NORWAY – Selectmen praised students from Oxford Hills Technical High School on Thursday night after the group presented seven options for the police station building expansion.

“You really did one heck of a job. I hope you have the spirit to continue your education,” said Selectman Bill Damon, who left high school years ago to work in a local shoe shop.

The students from teacher John Bell’s computer assisted drafting class presented the board with seven scenarios, which include using the former Herbert Roberts house on Danforth Street at the board’s meeting last week.

The town acquired the house, which is across the parking lot from town hall, from Roberts who died in May. Town officials, including police Chief Robert Federico, have been looking at options for using the property.

The second-year high school students were first approached by Federico last year to look at ideas for using this space. At that time, a student drafted a building to be constructed built on the Roberts house site, but Federico decided it would be preferable to have any additions to the police station attached to the town hall. So this fall the group was approached again to develop additional expansion ideas.

The result, he said, was seven alternatives that the students developed and presented to Federico and Town Manager David Holt several weeks ago before being presented to selectmen.

The ideas ranged from using the space between the town hall and fire station, to creating a walkway 10 feet above the ground connecting the town hall and and the Roberts house. Other ideas included building the station in back toward the Cullinan Memorial Park, constructing a new building on the Roberts house site and renovating the house for a police station.

The board praised all of the ideas, but Holt said he was particularly impressed with one presented by student Jamie Beaudoin, who suggested using the space between the fire station and town hall for the station expansion. The idea, she said, is cost efficient and easily done although the two buildings are 2 feet different in grade.

Holt called the idea “very practical” and “very impressive to me.”

“Initially I thought that’s what we should do,” said Holt, who added that he would have some concerns about the current problem of snow falling in that space with the differences in grade level.

Another idea presented by Tayla Mann, which called for a large community center and expansion of the police station by about 1,100 square feet into the the memorial park, was called “very nice” by Holt. Holt said he showed the plans to Betty Cullinan and her son Mike who donated the park in memory of her husband, John, and Cullinan said she was excited about the project’s creativity and enhancements to the park including a new gazebo.

Selectmen’s Chairman Russ Newcomb said, “If nothing more, I think it generates more options than I though were possible,” he said.

“I’m more than impressed,” Selectman Les Flanders said. “Everyone of them is an outstanding idea.”

The students participating in the project are Heather Nelson, Jamie Beaudoin, Jennifer Foss, Derek Gauger, Sawyer Gloden, Brayden Richards, Mike Doucette, Ian Monzo, Tayla Mann, Reed David and Alissa Leonard.

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