MADISON — The old junior high school building on Main Street will be demolished and replaced by a new parking lot with lights and a new playground.

“It’s dilapidated and surrounded by weeds,” Madison Superintendent of Schools Todd LeRoy said of the old building, which stands on the same campus as the current junior high. “It’s an eyesore and probably not worth it to invest any resources in updating.”

Town Manager Dana Berry signed a contract for the demolition with Dirigo Engineering on Tuesday after discussion at Monday’s town meeting.

The building, which dates to the late 1800s, has been vacant for about the last 10 years.

“There have been people wanting to develop it, but nothing concrete ever came out of it,” said Madison Board of Selectmen Chairman Albert Veneziano. “There are broken windows. In my mind, its time to go.”

The project should cost about $150,000, according to Berry. “We selected Dirigo because they’ve done other work for the town and they are close by. They will be doing the engineering, design, contracts and demolition.”

“We are in the preliminary stages of planning the new green space, parking area and playground,” said Jim Lord, project manager at Dirigo Engineering, who also attended classes in the old building.

“It’s probably a couple-months-long project,” he said. “We need to survey the space, meet with the town selectmen and then develop the full design.”

Lord estimated that work would be finished in time for the start of classes in the fall of 2013.

LeRoy said that the new parking lot also will help meet the need for space during municipal and school activities that are held in the auditorium of the new junior high on the same campus.

The design will be discussed in further detail at the next selectmen’s meeting, scheduled for Sept. 24.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

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