The former Central School at 11 Ash Street is currently vacant, but discussions are ongoing over the future of the property opposite the Town Common.
On Tuesday evening, Dan McIntyre, chairman of the standing building committee, provided the select council with an update on the Central School reuse process.
McIntyre said the property covers about 12 acres and should help the city achieve several goals.
“It’s big enough to meet the city’s needs and open up some of the property to private development,” he said. “It would have both economic and social benefits. Economically, this will help offset some of the cost of the city’s needs. It will also bring more downtown life, more people, a more pedestrian friendly area that will support the revitalization of our downtown.
The city asked developers for requests for information (RFIs) and received 17, three of which submitted details about what they might do with the property, McIntyre shared.
McIntyre said the preference for the rear portion of the property is to build multi-family homes, although that would require a zoning change.
The front part of the property includes the old central school building. The idea would be to keep the front part of the school, built around 100 years ago, while the two rear parts, added in the 1950s and 1980s, would be demolished.
Board member Mary Jo LaFreniere said she would like seniors housing to be part of the project, stressing the importance of having accessible units.
Board member Muriel Kramer asked for input from the public before a more formal request for proposal (RFP) is sent out to potential developers.
“I think it’s a sea change for what we could do with this property,” Kramer said. “It’s an important asset for the city and it’s right in the city centre. So I think for me it’s going to be important to get rigorous input from the city first to make sure we’re aiming in the right direction.
Kramer also expressed concern about potential one-time zoning changes.
“I think there’s a reason for on-site zoning to be less flexible, because people don’t want unexpected things to fall by their side, even if it’s a financial benefit to the city,” she said.
Board chair Amy Ritterbusch asked if the city would support 100 housing units, which she said could be part of the plan.
“I don’t think anyone really wants to overcrowd this area because it’s a residential area,” McIntyre replied. “But we want to at least explore the opportunity there.”
Upper Charles Trail upgrade offered
Jane Moran, Chair of the Upper Charles Trail Committee, updated the select committee on the group’s progress.
The committee has been tasked with presenting several options for the Hopkinton section of the Upper Charles Trail, which is to connect to Milford and Ashland.
“As you can see, this process is long and arduous,” Moran said after a brief presentation. “However, we are confident that by continuing to strategize, gather public input, and set reasonable goals, this trail will be built to the high expectations our citizens have come to expect.”
Moran explained that there are 11 segments in the plan, and many of them are still being considered and considered.
Asked about the committee’s suggestion to run a segment in Hayden Rowe Street – which met with substantial opposition from the public, mainly due to security concerns – Moran said that this play “has been put on hold” due to questions about the locations of the city’s right-of-way on this street. She said until the committee receives details of the city’s investigation into Hayden Rowe, which is expected to take at least a few months, it is focusing on a section from Hopkinton State Park to the future. site of the International Marathon Museum off East Main Street.
“I’m glad to hear that the Hayden Rowe segment is on hold at least for now, because I really don’t feel like there’s public support for that option at this point,” Ritterbusch said. “I know you are studying it more.”
The Board of Directors thanks Moran for his work and for sticking to it despite some criticism.
“I know a lot of people viewed it negatively, but I always viewed the various conversations that took place as positive, in that it helped our residents become more aware of the project,” Moran said. “We couldn’t have bought that ad. For my part, I was very grateful for this, because it is how we create the best possible product.
Introducing the new Deputy Fire Chief
Gary Daugherty Jr. was introduced by Chief Bill Miller as the city’s new deputy fire chief.
Daugherty has been with the department since 2004, after serving more than five years in the US Air Force. In 2011, he was promoted to lieutenant.
Daugherty noted that the department has had a lot of turnover lately, with many younger employees, and said one of the challenges is “hands-on experience.”
“I just look forward to leading these new kids and training them as I’ve grown, and hopefully they come to love the community as I have for the past two years,” said- he declared. “That’s what I would like to instill.”
Daugherty follows in the footsteps of his father, Gary Daugherty Sr., who worked for the Hopkinton Fire Department, including as chief, from 1997 to 2009, before leaving to become chief in Framingham. …
Two other new employees were introduced. Robyn Goldberg is the new Senior Center Volunteer Coordinator, while Carmen Cifuentes has been promoted from a per diem employee to a full-time dispatcher.
“Volunteers are the backbone of everything,” Goldberg said. “I know how important it is to have volunteers involved. I’m thrilled to be a small part of that.
The pizzeria becomes OK
The board has approved a joint supply and entertainment license at Troy Sproul for Blue Square Pizza, a new restaurant at 30 Main Street that will offer pick-up and counter service. The entertainment license is for one radio.
The restaurant is located in the location previously inhabited by Royal Pizza, which closed earlier this year.
“We welcome the candidate to the community,” said City Manager Norman Khumalo. “We are always looking for opportunities to fill vacancies along Main Street. With much gratitude to the owner of the property, they were able to find a new company to occupy this space as soon as possible. »
Agreement with Baypath approved
The council approved a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with the Baypath Humane Society and authorized the city manager to sign the lease for 5 acres of land on city-owned property at 66 Fruit Street. Baypath, which currently has a small facility on Legacy Farms North Road near Cedar Street, will build a new facility.
“Caring for animals is really an essential part of being a person, of being a human being,” LaFrenière said. “How we take care of our animals is as important as – well, not our people, but it’s right up there. I think Hopkinton is lucky to have a facility like Baypath here.
Miscellaneous: introduction of the idea of a cultural district
Members of Hopkinton’s cultural council appeared to present his idea of creating a cultural district in the town. HCC member Amy Groves said the whole neighborhood needs to be walkable and added that the hope is for the neighborhood to stretch from the future International Marathon Center to the city center and up. ‘at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. Ilana Casady, a member of the HCC, noted that one of the advantages of having such a district is that it could help the Cultural Council obtain more state funding. …
The council has approved a parade permit application for the annual Wicked 5K Road Race to be held at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts on October 30. The route follows Loop Road and uses the Center Trail and the Center Trail Extension. No road closure is requested. …
The board approved a request by Treasurer/Collector Christopher Heymanns for $5,297,501 in bond anticipation notes and $4,881,543 for long-term general bond borrowing to fund previously approved projects. …
The board approved a license for the underground storage of 42,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline and 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the gas station being rebuilt at 92 West Main Street, owned by Global Montello Group Corp. …
Sue Pearson’s resignation as an associate member of the Council on Aging was accepted with appreciation for her service.