A nonprofit group says it wants to open a circus-performance college in Portland, Maine. School founders announced Thursday that the newly formed Circus Conservatory of America would offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in circus arts. The college would be located in a converted 33,000-square-foot brick building on the former Thompson’s Point industrial site that developers want to turn into a multi-use development with an events center, a hotel, a sports medicine lab and office space. The school plans to offer courses that focus on theatrical, acrobatic and artistic elements, rather than old-fashioned clown acts and animal tricks. The school says it’s seeking accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. If all goes to plan, the first full-time class would start in September 2015.