News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, October 11, 2019
Land for sale, in support of Lawrence Family Fitness Center
110 acres abutting Surry’s Meadowbrook Forest

Under construction

The Lawrence Family Fitness Center is under construction, with a goal of opening spring 2020.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

As construction continues on the new Lawrence Family Fitness Center on Mines Road, the Lawrence Family Foundation, which is financing the building of the facility, is offering for sale 110 acres abutting Meadowbrook Forest in Surry. Proceeds will go towards the facility’s construction costs, estimated at $5.2 million, more than twice its original $2 million price tag.

The Foundation acquired the parcel as part of a land purchase required by the Environmental Protection Agency to offset the filling of wetlands the facility will stand on.

“Part of the wetland permitting process for the Blue Hill property required us to purchase a large tract of land and place it in permanent conservation,” said the foundation’s treasurer, Andrew Laslie. “In August, we accomplished this by donating 134 acres of quite remarkable land in Surry to the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.”

That 134 acres abuts the Meadowbrook Forest, connecting it to the Patten Stream Preserve, also owned by Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Meadwobrook Forest offers more than nine miles of trails well-suited for biking and walking.

If the foundation finds a buyer, the proceeds will add to a private, $20,000 donation from a local individual towards offsetting the Foundation’s financial underwriting of the facility. The Foundation is hoping for a private sale to avoid broker fees.

“Our thought is that someone might like to support this project, and get a great piece of land at the same time,” Laslie said.

He estimated the property’s fair market value at about $110,000 but said “all reasonable offers will be considered.”

Construction of the fitness center, which will house a six-lane swimming pool, a viewing balcony, fitness rooms and offices in about 2,400 square feet, is slated to be completed, “fingers crossed,” in April, Laslie said. “The rainy spring pushed everything back, especially our concrete contractor, and that’s where it all starts.” Once finished, the Foundation plans to give the facility to the Down East Family YMCA.

For details on the parcel for sale, contact Laslie at 992-2819.