HEBRON — The Historical Society has informed the SAD 17 Board of Directors that plans to move an historic railroad building to a lot near the Hebron Station School are on hold until at least next spring.
Society members have been attempting to save the only surviving building of the town’s once thriving railroad complex after annual town meeting voters in April refused to fund a $5,000 request for seed money to restore the building on-site. Selectmen ordered it be removed by the end of August from where it sits on Station Road in front of the new Highway Garage.
In June, the majority of School Administrative District 17 directors agreed to allow the Historical Society to relocate the abandoned building to a parcel on the Hebron Station School property but with stipulations, including that the building’s exterior is renovated before it sits on school property and that no one is allowed inside until that is restored.
Some selectmen argued against saving the building saying it was filled with lead paint and not worth the effort or expense. As it turned out, the building has very limited lead paint in it and none on the exterior. According to Historical Society members, a professional lead paint evaluator determined there is only a small amount of lead paint in the restroom area and that can be encapsulated.
Society Vice President Robert Swift said the members have been trying to ascertain the costs to not only move the building, but to remove the small bit of lead paint, paint the interior and exterior and make other necessary repairs.
Swift told the Advertiser Democrat this week that they believe the project will cost about $7,500, but those costs could be reduced significantly by donations of materials and labor.
New shingles, help with painting the building and addressing other needs through volunteerism would greatly assist and expediate the project, he said.
Last week the Society informed SAD 17 Superintendent Rick Colpitts of the delay and the agreement with the Hebron Board of Selectmen to allow the building to stay on its current site until June 2018.
In a letter dated Oct. 12, Historical Society President Raymond Glover told Colpitts that because of lack of funds and the amount of time it takes for an organization to carry out a project, they have decided to delay the project until spring when they hope the building will be ready to be moved.
The Hebron Station School, built in 2002 in the area of the Hebron railroad station and freight buildings, was named for the station. The line was last used by the Maine Central Railroad in 1945. Society members say the proposed site would make the building visible and make it usable for educational purposes after it is restored.
(Anyone who wishes to donate time or materials for the project should contact the Hebron Historical Society, P.O. Box 294, Hebron, ME 04238)