College, Brunswick revisit exchange
BRUNSWICK — The Town Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to reconsider whether it wants $ 2 million or a downtown building from Bowdoin College in exchange for the former Longfellow School.
Last fall, the town and the college closed a deal to exchange the town-owned Longfellow School for the college’s McLellan Building, across from Brooks Feed and Farm on Union Street.
Since that time, the Brunswick School Department learned that reductions in state and federal revenue will create a nearly $3 million gap for the 2012-13 budget.
Given that news, Town Manager Gary Brown said today, the college approached town officials with an offer to renegotiate the sale, opening the possibility for the town to receive $2 million instead of the McLellan Building in exchange for the Longfellow School. That cash could then factor into school and municipal budget deliberations.
“It’s like turning back the clock on the agreement we reached last fall,” Brown told The Times Record today.
The town and the college have already closed on the building exchange deal, Brown said, so that deal is still set if the council does not opt to receive the $2 million instead of the McLellan Building.
That agreement reached in October of last year was approved by an 8-1 vote, with Councilor Benet Pols objecting because of “a lingering doubt whether we need (the McLellan Building) rather than just wanting it.”
In April 2011, the Longfellow property was appraised at less than $1 million; while the McLellan Building’s ap- praised value at the same time was $4.1 million, according to notes from the agenda for a council meeting on April 4, 2011.
Currently, municipal government and the police department share a town-owned building at 28 Federal St., and both have plans to move out — the police station to a building being planned at the corner of Pleasant and Stanwood streets and the town to the McLellan Building.
Brown said today that the plans are not dependent on one another, and if the town did not move into the McLellan Building, the police department could still move out if that police station project is ultimately approved and built.
The council will meet in open session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at Brunswick Station, 16 Station Ave., to discuss the sale of the Longfellow School to Bowdoin College.