The board and committee meeting room at Oxford’s new town office will eventually more than double in size after the next phase of building renovations. It will be large enough to host town elections by next year. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

OXFORD — Not willing to wait for a few lagging items to be finished up – including a new sign out front – Oxford’s new town office at 127 Pottle Road opened to the public on Sept. 19.

A search for new headquarters had been ongoing for years and included consideration of multiple locations to build new, leasing SAD 17’s former offices and voter rejections of options that strayed from the recommendations of Oxford’s facilities committee to construct a new building.

But a solution that satisfied just about everyone emerged when a 6,500-square-foot office building owned by Stephens Memorial Hospital was vacated at the beginning of 2022. An Oxford resident suggested the building to town officials, who authorized Town Manager Adam Garland to negotiate purchasing the building from SMH.

Jessica Kennagh, deputy town clerk for Oxford, helps Cheryl Weymouth register a new car at the town’s new municipal headquarters, which opened Sept. 19. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Demoract

The $750,000 purchase was finalized in July and renovations began immediately. The main entry had to be refitted to accommodate public business transactions. A few cosmetic issues identified during inspection also had to be addressed, such as replacing exterior trim.

It was financed by Androscoggin Bank for a term of 10 years. With interest, the total loan is expected to cost taxpayers $808,124. Renovations and upgrades have been covered by Oxford’s town office reserve funds, which contained $294,000 at the time of purchase.

The entire facility is American with Disabilities Act compliant, with no need to rely on the aged, clunky elevator like in the old building on Pleasant Street. Managers’ offices are large and private enough to hold confidential, employee or other sensitive meetings away from other staff and visitors.


There is also a staff conference room and enough workspace to accommodate service providers contracted for town business, like the property revaluation that is currently in process.

Side entrances were converted for employee-only to the south as well as board and committee meetings on the northern side. Oxford’s highway department crew repainted the interior and built new walkways around the exterior.

Oxford Town Manager Adam Garland at the public meeting entry of the town’s new headquarters on Pottle Road. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

Some work remains. The conference room, where selectmen meet, will eventually be more than doubled in size when a corridor and adjacent space are removed to create a public meeting space large enough to hold town elections.

“There should be a big enough room for everything we need, except for annual town meeting,” Garland said during a tour last week.

Other future renovations will include adding a third business window in the lobby area, a public restroom for use during public meetings.

Elizabeth Olsen, who has served as Oxford’s town clerk and now manages human resources, worked at the Pleasant Street office for nine years.


Former Town Clerk and now Human Resources Manager Beth Olsen says there are a hundred reasons for staff to like the town’s new office, which opened on Sept. 19. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

“We had air quality issues, and walking down to the cellar, you could [get] congestion immediately,” Olsen said. “It was dusty with a lot of mold and you could smell it. The windows didn’t go down all the way. No one could repair them (properly) so during winter we’d have to stuff things in to block the cold. Here, we have even temperatures. Sometimes (on Pleasant Street) it would go over 90 degrees and we’d have fans going. After COVID came we had to block airflow, which just made it worse.

“There are a hundred reasons to like it here.”

The town has even been able to furnish its new office at a lower-than-expected cost. Garland said that some of the furnishings had been donated to the town in the past. Several workstations were left behind by SMH and adopted by Oxford employees.

Kingston Brown, Oxford’s codes officer, at work at the new town office on Pottle Road. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

“With everything we’re doing, and all the projects that had to happen to get us here, we’re still in amazement when we walk in that we’re actually in this place,” Olsen said. “It’s really a great feeling. We are so glad that the community supported doing it, and that we found a solution that won’t cost $3 million, or more.

“Even with town growth, we will have plenty of room to go with it here.”

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