The demolition of Bowker House has been delayed to February 2011 because the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) must advertise the bid on it first, said Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer Katy Longley.

The MDOT will advertise the Bowker House bid to contractors and construction firms that may want take up the project. Only after the contractors are selected can the demolition and repaving process begin.

"Basically, the College has donated this land as part of the [M]DOT project, and we're waiting for the [M]DOT to bid it," said Longley. "When they have bid, we will have met the town's condition."

In July, Bowdoin proposed to turn the Bowker House property into an 18-space parking lot as part of a larger MDOT project to re-engineer traffic at intersections surrounding First Parish Church.

The proposal raised controversy when the Village Review Board rejected the College's decision to demolish the building.

The Times Record reported over the summer that residents opposed the proposed demolition, citing the historic value of the Bowker property.

The College acquired the property, located at 4-6 Cleaveland St., in 2001.

Upon approval of the College's decision on August 3, the Village Review Board set two conditions: the College must receive a demolition permit and the property cannot be demolished until the MDOT has advertised the bid on it.

"We have all the permits, including the demolition permit," said Director of Capitals Projects Don Borkowski.

"[We] issued a certificate of appropriateness, giving them the necessary approval," corroborated Town Planner Kris Hultgren.

However, Hultgren said that "the College doesn't officially have approval [for demolition] until that project goes out for bid."

According to Longley, the bid was supposed to take place in October, but then got changed to December, and now to February.

There was a "delay in bidding because there needed to be one final review of Bowker house by the state," said Hultgren.

The Review Board wanted to ensure that MDOT was going to go through with the project before approving the demolition.

"The Review Board wanted to make sure there wouldn't be a situation where the building gets demolished, but the project doesn't happen," said Hultgren. "Maine DOT confirmed that once the project goes out to bid, it's a done deal."

The situation "really hasn't changed much, except we're waiting for the date," said Longley.