Hadley’s reuse proposals include senior housing, an arts space and a hotel
SWAMPSCOTT, MA – A committee tasked with exploring alternative uses for Hadley Elementary School should it become available to the city has come up with three proposed re-uses for the building and grounds.
The proposals are based on the possibility that Swampscott Public Schools will no longer need the building once the new K-4 Combined Elementary School is completed.
The proposals detailed the potential for a mixed-use commercial building, affordable housing or hospitality business.
The task of the 19-person committee was to propose uses that do not involve housing at market price. The committee used polls and 20 town halls to formulate the three proposals.
“Because of this large and talented committee, the advice from the staff and the number of public meetings and community feedback opportunities – it really is a model for how this type of planning process should be done.” , said Select board vice president Polly Titcomb. . “The efficiency and
the completeness of the process is impressive. “
The mixed-use commercial proposal would include a dedicated community / artistic space in the main building with the annex demolished to allow a new entrance with elevator access and a community plaza.
The affordable housing proposal would be a senior citizen development with public space on the ground floor of the main building and the annex transformed into an accessible entrance. There would be a playground and community gathering space as part of this proposal.
The hospitality proposal would seek to transform the building into a historic boutique hotel with the existing auditorium used as an event space and interior courtyard. An addition would become a modern lobby that connects to an outdoor community plaza.
“I am incredibly happy that the committee returned to the Select Board with three dynamic scenarios that are consistent with the Board’s unanimous feeling that market-priced housing should not be part of the future of this property,” said the Chairman of the Select Board Peter Spellios. . “We want the community to feel confident that the city is committed to ensuring that the building is reused in a way that immediately reflects the needs of the community.
Spellios commended Swampscott’s lead planner Molly O’Connell for her leadership in project work on the report.
“I’m really excited about the scenarios that have emerged throughout this process,” O’Connell said. “There is real viability in these ideas and this building provides an incredible opportunity for the city to respond to the needs of the community.”
Swampscott Select’s board of directors voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to seek authorization, via a municipal assembly mandate, to ban market-priced housing in the building during the municipal assembly on 13 September.
A request for proposal is expected in late fall.
The full committee report can be found here.
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(Scott Souza is a Patch Field Editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)