Memorial School fate on Casco selectmen’s agenda

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Casco’s elected officials are poised to decide the fate of the Memorial School.

Most of them cannot wait any longer because it has been an agenda item for far too long, while some would be willing to take a wait and stall stance.

“Put it on the agenda for the next meeting. I am ready to take a vote,” said Casco Board of Selectmen Chairman Mary-Viennessa Fernandes.

Fernandes put an end to discussion about the school. She tabled it.

During numerous talks about the Memorial School — and especially those board discussions that took place following a questionnaire that was mailed to the town’s property owners as well as a Town Meeting vote to place in the board’s hands the details of the disposal of building — selectman Kim Tracy said she has been ready to vote on it for a long time.

Selectman Grant Plummer has reminded the audience and other board members about the Town Meeting vote — a sign of confidence that a good decision can be made at this table.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Selectman Ray Grant proposed burning down the wooden portions of the building, and then rebuilding from the existing bricks that are part of the structure.

“Why not get a price?” Grant asked.

“Before we burn up all the options, I just want to say, ‘This is or isn’t a viable option.’ This is pretty easy to do,” Grant said.

Fernandes responded, “What is easy?”

Granted answered, “Getting an estimate” for the type of salvage work he had recommended for the school that was dedicated to veterans from World War II.

Already, the board had been provided paperwork that showed a range of costs to demolish the school building. The bidding companies gave a per-ton-price, according to Town Manager Dave Morton.

The town’s fire department has offered to use the building for burn trainings, but that option still requires the removal of hazardous materials before the burn and the removal of debris after the training occurs.

Still, the final vote that puts — or loosens — the noose around the Memorial School sits in the hands (either up or down) of the selectmen.

That happens on Dec. 11 during the regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting. The topic is number eight on the agenda, under ‘Old Business.’

 

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