Meeting March 7

Camden Hills board discusses use of Farmers Fare property

By Kim Lincoln | Mar 02, 2012

Rockport — An effort is under way to look into the possibility of the Five Town Community School District and School Administrative District 28 to acquire the now-vacant Farmers Fare property on Route 90.

Superintendent William Shuttleworth said the Five Town CSD board will take up the topic at the next board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at Camden Hills Regional High School.

The idea, Shuttleworth said, is for a creative "multi-agency partnership" to look into purchasing the property through fundraising. He's looking for a go-ahead from the board to pursue further discussions.

Farmers Fare, located on the corner of West Street (Route 90) and Cross Street in Rockport, was the brainchild of Teri Thompson-Christie and her husband, Peter Christie. It was a market, meeting place, restaurant and coffee bar that opened in September 2009. The building has sat vacant since the business closed 18 months after opening.

Shuttleworth said by telephone March 2 that the building could have a number of uses for the district including: relocating the Zenith program, the district's alternative education program, or to capture students that might do best in a hands-on, farm-to-school, outdoor-type program.

"I know it sounds like a dreamland, but this property is well-situated for our elementary and high schools, has a tremendous building, five great acres, abuts Erickson's Farm, and would be a stellar addition to hands-on learning that would tap into agriculture, marketing, science, beekeeping, food production from our schools, as well as be a way for kids to be outside, addressing this nature deficit disorder we often call ADHD," Shuttleworth wrote in his report to the board.

"I am confident that with a thumbs up from the board to pursue this project to the next steps, steps that will involve some energy on our part, but no school moneys, we could just pull this off and it would be truly terrific for our school and community," he wrote.

Other board business:

• The board will consider whether to award assistant principals Graham Bode and Piet Lammert each a $1,000 honorarium for working above and beyond while Principal Nick Ithomitis has been out for a medical condition.

• To consider eliminating the Horizon arts coordinator position due to local economic
conditions that affect the school budget effective for the 2012-2013 school year.

• Approval of a common scheduling research project proposal for Many Flags.

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