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Officials working on preliminary-cost estimate for former Spurwink School renovation

Town Manager Matthew Sturgis expects to have an estimate by Feb. 11, 2019 on preliminary costs to renovate the former Spurwink School to house the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society.

Sturgis updated the Town Council Jan. 14 on progress toward implementing the Spurwink School Committee's recommendation to lease the building to the historical society for their offices and collection. Formerly a one-room school house and most recently site of the neighboring Thomas Memorial Library's children's collection, the 170-year-old landmark has been vacant since the library's renovation in 2016.

Officials from the town and the society have been working with Cape Elizabeth architect Joe Chalat to determine the scope of needed renovations. "Right now, such things as insulation would need to be done, interior dry wall, windows, interior finishes -- things along those lines," Sturgis said.

"Basically I want to let you know I will bring this up next month with a funding request, after Mr. Chalat comes forward with an idea for a cost to get the project started," he said. Sturgis gave a very rough estimate of $500,000, which may or may not include costs for constructing additional parking. New parking would also need Planning Board approval, he said.

Responding to a question from Town Council Chair Jamie Garvin, Sturgis said the funding might be combined with possible bonding for future school renovation projects.

Action on the Spurwink School Committee's recommendation was one of the Town Council's goals for 2018.