LYMAN — Plans to renovate Cousens School have finally hit the drawing board.

The Cousens School building is a 10,000-square-foot building at 282 Goodwins Mill Road that dates back to 1937. It was last used as a school in 2007, and was acquired by the town in 2008.

The school has been the subject of three town votes in the course of a year.

Residents in November voted to allow the town to borrow up to $1.609 million and allocate up to $208,000 of reserve funds to renovate the former school. This vote canceled out a previous vote in February for a proposed renovation project with a lower price tag. The February vote had replaced a November 2016 vote, which was deemed null because of a missing financial document.

The renovation project will refurbish the former school so the town can move its municipal offices into the building and utilize additional space for community use.

Since last month’s vote, the Select Board has met regularly with Christopher Carroll, an architect with Harriman Associates.

Carroll was at Monday night’s Select Board meeting to give an update on the suggested renovation project.

Carroll said he would have 50 percent of the bid documents available by Wednesday, Dec. 20, for review as previously promised, and the Select Board can discuss the documents with Carroll at a January Select Board meeting.

The proposed project will go before the Planning Board for the first time in January, said Carroll.

Carroll and the Select Board discussed some of the details of the project, including parking space, replacing an old sewer tank, getting an old stove in the basement of the building tested for safety, and the layout of the proposed new town offices, which will have room for a private meeting room for town staff to discuss matters with residents, as well as three service counters.

Select Board Chairman John Demers asked Carroll if he thought discussions with the Select Board were going well, and Carroll said he thought they were. Demers said the Select Board will continue to ask questions about the project during the scheduled updates with Carroll.

“I think we need that honesty back and forth,” said Demers. “It needs to start off well. If it doesn’t start off well, we’re in trouble.”

Town officials hope to go out to bid for the project in mid-February, with bids due in mid-March. 

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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