GORHAM — The University of Maine System plans to revise its policies for renovating historic buildings on all of its campuses to avoid another dust-up with state preservationists, whose concerns about work being done on the University of Southern Maine’s art gallery halted construction last month.

Officials from both USM and the UMaine System vowed Wednesday to consult with the Maine Historical Preservation Commission before starting work on historic buildings and to put that protocol in writing.

Meanwhile, work on the 193-year-old building that houses the art gallery on USM’s Gorham campus is set to resume as soon as possible, now that critics are satisfied that the revised plans for its renovation won’t compromise the historical integrity of the Greek Revival structure.

State historian Earle Shettleworth said Wednesday that the Maine Historic Preservation Commission no is longer considering recommending the building’s removal from the National Register of Historic Places — as it might have had university gone through with its plans to install vinyl siding and modern windows.

The university put that work on hold last month to meet with preservationists and try to address their concerns.

Last week, USM’s chief financial officer, Dick Campbell, announced that the university would not install vinyl siding, using white pine clapboards instead despite their higher cost and lower durability.

USM officials met with preservationists Wednesday to go over the final plan for the renovation, which Campbell said is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

Four of the building’s 14 windows will be restored and installed. The rest will stay in storage until there’s money available to repair them. In the meantime, new custom-made wooden shutters will cover the openings where those windows were.

“We have a significant budget gap,” Campbell said about the university’s well-publicized financial woes. “Until we can solve some of that, we can’t make any commitments on specific projects.”

Using white pine siding will cost an extra $40,000, he said, which will come from the contingency fund in the project’s $320,000 budget and from redirecting money budgeted for an underground pipe project.

All of the work is being done on the outside of the building and is not expected to affect events scheduled to take place inside the gallery when school begins next month, officials said.

Completing construction projects and getting ready for students to arrive are the university’s priorities now, Campbell said; but ensuring that proper procedures are in place to avoid similar situations in the future follows close behind.

“We are not going to undertake additional projects until our documentation at USM reflects that any time we’re taking about a historical building, be it here, be in Portland, … that we have the appropriate input throughout the process,” Campbell said.

The rest of the UMaine campuses will follow suit, said Chip Gavin, the system’s director of facilities management.

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