Voters in St. Germain may soon be asked to weigh in on $2.7 million plan for the renovation of the red brick schoolhouse.

It is the latest chapter in the years-long saga of the future of St. Germain’s oldest building.  

The St. Germain town board last week received an update on the proposal, which included floor plans, a sketch of the exterior and a price tag: The project would come in at $2.7 million, with about $700,000 in contingencies. (The proposal is posted on the Town of St. Germain website).

The newest rendition of the building shows a multipurpose center with conference rooms, storage space and board rooms. Outside, a new lot and driveway would be added, as would green space and a new domestic well.  

The item will be on the agenda at the next regular board meeting, but so far the proposal has seemed well-received, town supervisor Brian Cooper said.

“Nobody was throwing tomatoes at us, so that’s always good,” Cooper said. “If the proposal passes, I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a pretty good looking building.”

Twice in 2018 voters shot down proposals for renovations — one for $7 million and scaled down version for $4 million. But Cooper said it has not been clear whether voters turned down plans because they were too expensive or because they wanted the building demolished. 

If voters turn down the current proposal, the next step step would be to draft a plan to demolish the building and let voters decide whether to tear it down.

“I dont know what else we can do with the building if they don’t want to fix it up,” said St. Germain board chairman Tom Christensen. “We’ll have to look at tearing it down, putting some grass on it and calling it good.”

The most recent debate on the red brick schoolhouse began in Oct. 2016. After more than two years, Christensen said he looks forward to putting the matter to rest. 

“When we started down this path we said we’d keep going until we found some resolution, so hopefully we’re close to that,” he said.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, the board recognized that snow shoveled aside by plow drivers has made it difficult for town trucks to leave or access the driveway. The plow drivers will make adjustments, Cooper said.

Mario Koran may be reached via email at mario@rivernewsonline.com.