School committee doesn’t have the funds to demolish Nickerson building

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    GREENVILLE — Voters authorized the school committee to demolish the 49-year-old Nickerson Elementary School building last June, but nobody is expecting it to take place any time soon. School officials have delayed the demolition because the poor economic climate prevents them from undertaking any non-essential projects.


Observer photo/Bill Pearson

    FEASIBILITY STUDY — University of Maine graduate student Amber Simmons, center, presented her feasibility study about demolishing the Nickerson Elementary School in Greenville. Simmons indicated to the Greenville board of selectmen on Jan. 2 the project is estimated to cost $151,196 and take less than three months to complete.

    While Greenville officials wait for better economic times, the board of selectmen received a preliminary demolition project assessment on Jan. 2 from a University of Maine graduate student. Greenville resident Amber Simmons presented a feasibility study about the proposed school demolition.

    Simmons received a bachelor of science degree in 2009. She is now working on a master’s degree in civil engineering. Simmons began the feasibility study in October as part of her program’s final project. Based on the study, Simmons estimated the demolition may take up to three months at an estimated  $151,196 cost.

    When Greenville officials are prepared to begin the demolition, she recommended a structural engineer should be hired to evaluate the building, consider other options such as possible renovations, determine the salvageable steel value, and research the roof addition specifications.

    Town officials indicated that the feasibility study was beneficial in getting an overview about the demolition project, but they are reluctant to start any planning based on the report.

    “There was a lot of great information and ideas included in the report, but at this point I need to stress they are only ideas,” said Town Manager Gary Lamb. “The town has no plans moving forward with the demolition because the school committee just doesn’t have the money to proceed.”

    In other business, Rene Hersey expressed her disappointment about not being reappointed to the budget committee. Hersey was part of a 10-person committee last year. She was left off the panel this year due to the board reducing the membership to five.

    Hersey wanted to know why the budget committee membership was reduced and requested the selectmen review procedures for future town appointments.

    “I was disappointed at not being chosen as a volunteer for this year’s budget committee. I felt I learned a lot last year and was better prepared to continue for my second year on the committee,” Hersey said. “If the board is ever short of volunteers in the future maybe the board should re-evaluate your policy and procedures.”

    The selectmen didn’t respond to Hersey’s statement, but Lamb explained the budget committee nominating procedure following the meeting. Lamb recommended several weeks ago to reduce the budget committee to either five  or seven members. The selectmen chose to limit the membership to five members.

    “Rene is a very conscientious member of any committee she joins,” Lamb said. “I hope this doesn’t dissuade her from volunteering again because she takes her work very seriously.”

    In other action, the town received four trash hauling bids. The town received one from their current provider Wyndsaung Farms in Levant along with Pine Tree Waste in Hermon, Moosehead Rubbish in Greenville and DM&J Waste in Winterport. Lamb will review the requests and make a recommendation during the board’s next meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16 in the municipal building.

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