2014-02-21 / Front Page

Bowdoin unveils proposal to site new $2.4M building

Seeks offices on Maine St.; will also turn retirement home into dorm

A BUILDING at 216 Maine St. in Brunswick will be razed to make way for a new $2.4 million administrative building for Bowdoin College. 
BOB MENTZINGER / THE TIMES RECORD A BUILDING at 216 Maine St. in Brunswick will be razed to make way for a new $2.4 million administrative building for Bowdoin College. BOB MENTZINGER / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK

Bowdoin College wants to tear down the building at 216 Maine St. and replace it with administrative offices, and is advancing separate plans to convert a former nursing home into student housing.

The Planning Board will review both plans Tuesday.

The building at 216 Maine St. would be demolished, according to the sketch plan application, drawings and other materials submitted to the Planning Board Jan. 17. The building sits at the corner of Maine and Noble streets, adjacent to the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum and across the street from the First Parish Church.

The new, three-story Federalist style building would house Bowdoin offices, including the controller, student aid and human resources departments, which would be consolidated from other locations on and near the campus, according to Massachusetts design firm Cambridge Seven.

“We think it will blend well with adjacent properties,” said S. Catherine Longley, Bowdoin's treasurer and senior vice president for finance and administration.

The college could use the space, Longley said, after having traded in the McLellan Building to the town of Brunswick in exchange for the former Longfellow School.

There wont be demand for new parking, because staff and visitors will continue to use designated parking at the McLellan Building at 85 Union St. and on-campus parking, according to the design firm. According to its proposal, the parking area on the Maine Street side of the building will be eliminated.

The building will be located closer to the street, and four new spaces for deliveries and visitors will be at the rear of the building, accessible from Noble Street. Bowdoin will also provide two bike racks.

New sidewalks and landscaping would also be constructed.

Construction costs are estimated at $2.4 million, Longley said, but are not finalized.

“The project has been in the works for about a year,” said Longley.

Bowdoin plans on starting demolition in March or April, Longley said, and construction is slated for late April.

The building, which will have room for 30 employees, will be occupied in November, according to Longley.

The Planning Board will review and make recommendations on the sketch plan, after which the college will present a more detailed plan, said Town Planner Jeremy Doxsee.

Also on Tuesday, The Planning Board will also review an application submitted by Bowdoin regarding its proposal to renovate the former Stevens Retirement Home at 52 Harpswell Road in order to create student housing.

About 35 students may reside in in the future chem-free dorm, according to Longley.

“We're just always looking to improve our student housing stock,” Longley said.

The building is within walking distance to the college and a “nice, in-town piece of land,” she said.

Renovations may begin this summer and the building will be ready for occupancy in August, said Longley. A garden will be planed behind the dorm. Construction costs are estimated at about $1.2 million.

The Town Council in April 2013 approved a zoning change to allow a residence hall as a permitted use in that area.

According to Longley, College representatives has held meetings with neighbors of both properties to keep them informed of the college's plans.

Town Councilor Sarah Brayman attended meetings regarding the Stevens House last spring, and said that, at the time, reactions from neighbors were generally positive.


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