School Administrative District 51
Rendering of performing arts center being built in Cumberland, Maine

Maine district begins construction of performing arts center

Oct. 6, 2017
Community has waited some 17 years for facility to be built in Cumberland

School Administrative District 51 has broken ground on a 26,000-square-foot performing arts center in Cumberland, Maine.

The Forecaster reports that the beginning of construction of the 500-seat facility is the culmination of a 17-year effort.

“This started more than 17 years ago," school board chair Gigi Sanchez said, "and over the years the community has learned to keep dialoguing. At the end of the day, this was an asset that was missing not only from our facilities, but from our children’s education.”

Voters initially approved a 475-seat facility in 2003 for $5 million, but that was insufficient to cover construction costs. A $1.5 million follow-up referendum failed, and the project was scrapped.

A new version of the project returned to voters last year, and residents in Cumberland and North Yarmouth voted 4,149 to 3,953 to borrow as much as $9.5 million to build the center.

The building is being constructed at the rear of Greely High School. It is scheduled to open in November 2018.

The architect is Stephen Blatt Architects.

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