The Friends of Pettingill thank Mayor Robert Macdonald and members of the Lewiston City Council for their careful consideration of the disposition of the Pettingill School site.

The neighborhood favored the conversion of the two-acre site into a park. Others have stressed the importance of revenue. About one year ago, the City Council gave the Friends of Pettingill the opportunity to pursue its goal to create a park while leaving the option open for other proposals. A local developer dropped its option to demolish the school and sell house lots. No other proposals came forth.

On March 4, the City Council placed the issue on its agenda. There was an impressive turnout by residents of the Pettingill community. Former students and the parents and grandparents of former students and other neighbors voiced their support for a park rather than the preservation of the existing playground while the rest of the property was sold for house lots. The school had been in operation for 82 years before closing, and its playground has continued to be a gathering spot for all ages.

The proponents stressed the importance of preserving a focal point of the neighborhood and the unique opportunity to create a space for children, parents and senior citizens. The discussion by the proponents, opponents, and the Councilors was very respectful.

We look forward to working with Lewiston Public Works, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Planning Board as we convert the schoolyard into a public park.

Edward Walworth, Lewiston, chairman, The Friends of Pettingill

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