LEWISTON — The School Committee voted unanimously Monday night in favor of building an addition to Farwell Elementary School to house an influx of students this year.

The recommendation will be presented to the City Council for a vote Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The proposal to add six classrooms was put forward by Superintendent Bill Webster.

“We can’t instruct City Council, but we can tell them our preference,” Councilor Thomas Shannon said. “This is just our recommendation.”

Initially, an option for a temporary modular building was suggested because of the lower cost and the leasing option available from the state. It was not well-received by parents, though, so the committee put together plans for a permanent structure.

According to Elaine Runyon, many opposed to the Farwell addition cited a loss of green space. Although this can only be somewhat mitigated, the permanent structure would offer more green space than the modular option. 

Many of the original concerns with the addition were the cost, aesthetics and functionality of a separate building. 

According to Runyon, the permanent building addresses most of the concerns by having it joined to the school with a 25-foot-long enclosed hallway and having a matching brick facade. 

Runyon also said a permanent addition, though more expensive overall, would be cheaper than the temporary structure for the first five years because of a longer bond period. 

“I prefer the permanent structure,” Councilor Paul St. Pierre added. “We’ve all seen Montello . . . and Geiger, and nobody wants that.” 

If the council approves the recommendation, it is hoped the addition would be ready for students next fall.

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