TOPSHAM — The town is seeking volunteers for a committee that will help determine the demand for a community center, where it could go, and what it should include.

Applications, which can be found at topshammaine.com, must be submitted to the office of Town Manager Rich Roedner at 100 Main St. by July 30. Interviews for the Community Center Facility Committee would be held later this summer.

The panel, with possibly seven members, will eventually make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.

“There’s been discussion among various people about the need for a community center for years,” Roedner said July 3.

He said that within a week after the Wright-Pierce engineering firm building across from the Topsham Municipal Complex on Main Street was demolished in March 2018, three people suggested to him that a center could stand in its place. The land is for sale following a move by Wright-Pierce to Bowdoin Mill Island.

Roedner said “there’s interest in investigating it,” and noted the need for an event hub that would be a gathering place for a range of community groups was expressed during the recently completed Comprehensive Plan update process.

The current budget includes $15,000 to support the community center committee. The money could go toward consulting services and concept sketches.

“The goal is, over the next year or so, to have them dive a little bit deeper … into the needs of the community as far as (whether) we need a community center,” Roedner said, and whether it should include a pool, a basketball court, a track or meetings rooms, for example.

Determining the building’s location, size and cost could be other tasks. The Board of Selectmen could take the committee’s advice and apply extra funds for design work.

“This is a concept committee,” the manager said. “… This is very preliminary, and it really is a threshold discussion.”


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