This week the Buzz is building, chirping and dropping its R’s.

Two projects are afoot: On Monday night, the Lewiston Planning Board approved John F. Murphy Homes’ plan to build a 41,400-square-foot middle and high school for special needs students at 5 Memorial Ave.

City Planner Doug Greene said a representative told the board they’d like to start work in June and open in a year.

Futureguard on Merrow Road in Auburn has been approved for a $675,000 expansion, according to the city. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

Permits are pending after the Auburn Planning Board last month approved a 14,160-square-foot addition for Futureguard at 101 Merrow Road.

The $675,000 expansion won’t add employees to the awning business, according to a letter from Stoneybrook Consultants to the board but will make room for “a drive-thru unloading area for incoming materials and additional work space to cut, mold or shape those materials for new product lines that Futureguard plans to manufacture on site.”

The third generation, family-owned company has 90 employees. They’re hoping to be in the new space in 2020.

New tenant

Northeast Career Schools of Maine is moving into the Auburn Plaza.

The company leased 8,158 square feet of retail space at 730 Center St. in a deal brokered by Frank O’Connor and Chris Craig from NAI The Dunham Group, according to a brief in Mainebiz.

No additional details were available.

Wicked ranking

We’ve had favorable rankings for being among the best cities and towns for working women and the most affordable small towns in which to retire, but a ranking for how we sound as a state?

The website Big 7 Travel on Tuesday ranked the Top 50 sexiest accents in the U.S. and, drum roll … Maine was fourth!

The results are from a survey of some of its 1.5 million social media followers, and the reasons are not super sexy-sounding:

“The Maine accent is surprisingly popular, ayuh! If you’re a real ‘Mainah,’ you’ll drop your ‘r’s, go to ‘yoger’ class instead of yoga and add in ‘wicked’ to make every adjective extra powerful.”

Least sexy was Long Island and tops was Texas.

Maybe something to consider in our live-and-work-in-Maine marketing campaigns?

New bugs?

A sort of P.S. to a Buzz item from two weeks ago:

Bill Broadbent, who founded the edible bug business Entosense with his sister Susan Broadbent, said Tuesday that the company’s long-range plans include looking into farming more types of bugs — grasshoppers, ants and scorpions are on the short list.

First, the company is looking to raise $1 million to $2 million later this year to expand its cricket farming operation from 500 square feet to 10,000 to 20,000 square feet. It’s pursuing grants and angel investors.

Bill Broadbent said they’ll look at space in Lewiston’s Hill Mill, where it’s located now, and elsewhere, hoping to stay in Lewiston-Auburn.

Fully built out, “it would get into the millions (of crickets) each month,” he said.

He said they’re looking to fill their own edible needs and to get into the brisk cricket powder market.

The company is expecting to double the number of employees from six to 12 by November, along with growing its retail footprint from being in 100 stores to 500-plus.

“It looks like we’re going to have a big holiday,” Broadbent said.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]