Meeting tonight: Public encouraged to attend

Rockport invites citizens to envision future for former RES school site

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 8:45am

ROCKPORT — What shall the vacant, publicly-owned 7.67-acre lot on the corner of routes 1 and 90, across from the Market Basket, look like? Should it be developed? How so? Should the ball field remain? Should it be sold to private interests?

Currently, the lot is collectively owned by Rockport citizens, after the former Rockport Elementary School vacated the land and it reverted back to municipal ownership.

On Wednesday, May 29, 6 p.m., at the Rockport Opera House, a brainstorming session on the future of the land will held.

The event is organized by an informal group that has been meeting since last winter to mull over the RES site.

‘The focus of the evening will be to gain a better understanding of the public needs and wishes of the former Rockport Elementary School parcel,” according to a meeting flier. “It will be an interactive workshop where Rockport citizens can provide input and suggestions for the future of the site.

Light refreshments will be served. Contact Hannah Sisk at 236-6758 x 5 or with questions. 

The meeting will not be streamed live or recorded.

The 7.67-acre parcel that lies on the corner of West Street and Route 1. From 1954 to 2011, it fell under purview of the Camden-Rockport School Board, which constructed a series of buildings there over the decades to house thousands of local elementary school students.

A mold problem, combined with crumbling foundations and deteriorating walls, resulted in the major expansion of a newer school — Camden-Rockport Elementary School — a half-mile west on Route 90 four years ago. The school district walked out of the old RES for the last time in 2008. The land subsequently reverted to town ownership, opening debate about what to do next with it.

Meanwhile, the popular ball field remains open for rent from the town, as the seasons of sports roll through the calendar.

Rockport Public Works demolished the buildings and hauled the majority of it all away to the Mid-Coast Solid Waste transfer station on Union Street. The gymnasium trusses went to Bath to become incorporated into a new boatbuilding shed.