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Two developers eye A.D. Gray building

By Christine Simmonds | Jul 21, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Waldoboro Planning Board discusses potential development plans for A.D. Gray.

Waldoboro — The town of Waldoboro is discussing the future of the A.D. Gray school building, with two potential development projects involving housing.

Volunteers of America presented their tentative plan for 32 senior housing units at the planning board meeting held via Zoom July 15.

Another plan for development presented to the board in September is a mixed-use development including residential, office and commercial uses. This project, named “Waldoboro Heights” and presented by Tim Wells, involves market rate housing.

The proposal brought before the board July 15 is a senior housing development.

Brian Sites, Vice President of Business Development for Volunteers of America, said the company was interested in pursuing the project because they do not currently operate any senior housing between their Topsham and Thomaston locations.

Currently the project is in the conceptual stage, so Sites said the ideas and plans may change. The company has had meetings and conversations with Town Manager Julie Keizer and Town Planner Max Johnstone, and completed a walk-through of the former school with architect Bob Foster.

Sites said the development is not an assisted living facility, but instead designed for independent senior living, and would allow pets.

Johnstone said the next steps are for the A.D. Gray subcommittee and the Select Board to determine which project to pursue.

If it is determined not to pursue either project, then the town would have to decide whether to put forth a Request for Proposals for the building.

Johnstone said feedback from residents was an important part of the decision process.

Sites said community support for the project was also very important to Volunteers of America. “The last thing that we want to do is put a 45-year commitment in the middle of your town and you guys hate it,” he said. “This is about having a community dialogue and making sure we’re all in this together.”

Johnstone said residents can voice support or disapproval for either proposal by emailing him at planning@waldoboromaine.org.

Videos of both pre-application meetings are available at the Waldoboro Youtube page. The video with Volunteers of America is the July 15 Planning Board meeting. The video of the meeting with Tim Wells is the Sept. 11, 2019 Planning Board meeting.

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