This open space beside Robie Gym in Gorham Village is yet to be named. Robert Lowell / American Journal

A town-owned open space next to Robie Gym in Gorham Village will remain nameless at least for a little while longer.

The Town Council Tuesday unanimously tabled Councilor Virginia Wilder Cross’s proposal to name the open space The Village Green, at her request. Cross said she wants to hear residents’ suggestions on a name and wants the Village Alliance to be involved in that.

The open space, a lawn with benches and picnic tables, is well situated at the corner of South and Preble streets and across South Street from Phinney Park. It’s also one block away from the town’s municipal center campus.

“It’s a pretty valuable piece of property,” Town Councilor Ben Hartwell said.

Original Gorham High School built in 1868 Courtesy / Gorham Historical Society

The open space was the site of the original Gorham High School from 1868 until 1939 when a new high school opened. The building was converted to house the town fire and police departments before it was demolished in the mid 1970s.

The razing left open space in the heart of the village shopping area. It used for a play area and as an outdoor dining spot by patrons at village restaurants.

Children play on the lawn as evidenced by what appears to be a makeshift volleyball court that has been set up.

It’s also at the gateway to the South Street Historic District with its vintage homes, Baxter Memorial Library and Baxter Museum.

The town could potentially designate the open space as a park but Hartwell favors keeping the town’s options open for future use.

“I don’t want to pigeonhole us,” he said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Hartwell said a village green would take the focus away from the nearby municipal center, which is where he thinks the focus should be. Farmer’s market vendors set up on the municipal center lawn and the gazebo there is where the Tuesday night summer concert series is held.

In other action Tuesday, the council authorized spending up to $6,000 for signs to raise awareness of the town’s three historic districts – South Street, College Avenue, and the USM campus.

“Its just labeling the districts,” Town Council Vice Chairperson Suzanne Phillips said.

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