The former Cousens School in Lyman, as seen on Thursday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

LYMAN — The fate of the former Cousens School is once again in the hands of the townspeople, as Lyman residents will be asked on Nov. 6 whether to allow the town to sell the property.

The Cousens School building, located at 382 Goodwin’s Mills Road, was built in 1937, and an addition was constructed in 1967. It was used as a school until 2007, and the town purchased the building and surrounding seven acres from Regional School Unit 57 for about $22,000 in 2008.

The property is assessed at $512,000 — $64,000 for the land and $448,000 for the building — according to town records.

The building has remained unused since the town purchased it, though money has been invested for its upkeep.

A new roof and and drain were installed in 2011 to mitigate flooding and further deterioration. In 2014, the town received a Brownsfield grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and paid $40,000 in matching funds, using the money to remove hazardous material, install new windows and tiles, and paint walls.

More recently plans were in the works to renovate the building to create new town office space that would replace the current town hall, with remaining space used in various forms as community space.

Residents voted multiple times to allow the town to move forward with this renovation. The last vote was in November 2017, when voters approved a higher price tag of $1.8 million, allowing the town to borrow $1.6 million and spend about $200,000 in town reserve funds to complete the project.

However, this project was put to a halt.

Earlier this year, work to renovate the former Cousens School was in the preliminary stages when the Select Board voted on May 7 to put an end to the project. The Select Board said it voted to discontinue the renovation work because the completed project would cost at least $125,000 more than voters had approved in the November, 2017 vote. Select Board Chairman Jeff Demers said in May that the town had spent about $130,000 on preliminary work on the project.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or [email protected].

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: