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LEWISTON - Museum L-A is getting closer and closer to reaching its goal of owning the former Camden Yarns Mill property. The property sits on the downtown riverfront next to the Continental Mill. Work is under way to structurally shore up the building and prepare it for future renovation. In addition, the final phase of environmental cleanup is 90 percent complete toward a completely green and environmentally-safe site.

The Museum is encouraged by the support it is receiving from the community and has an opportunity to enhance donations with a 49 percent grant match for operations. The grant ends on Dec. 31 so the timing is tight. "This is a great challenge and an investment opportunity. Every dollar donated becomes $1.49 because of this hard-won grant," said Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Museum L-A's executive director.

"The 49 percent match gives us a real boost toward owning the building outright,'' she continued, noting that the Museum is approximately $35,000 away from owning the property. Any tax deductible contribution for 2010 would be greatly appreciated. It will be an amazing accomplishment for the Museum to have our land and building paid for. It will allow us to go to the next phases of design and interpretive planning of exhibits and move in sooner," Desgrosseilliers said.

Meanwhile, the Museum has contracted Smith Reuter Lull Architects of Lewiston to do a structural evaluation of the Beech Street building as well as demolition and stabilization review and work at the site. The plan is to preserve as much of the original structure as possible.

Cleanup of a small oil spill at the exterior of the building is being made possible through a Project Grant Fund received through a City of Lewiston EPA Assistance Grant. Contaminated soil has been removed and replaced by ENPRO Services, Inc. of Portland. Webster Tree Service donated its services to clear the site of brush and trees to make it ready for the contract work.