Jennifer Tabakin, Town Manager
334 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA 01230
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Great Barrington Seeks Proposals for Lease or Sale of Housatonic School, Eyes Diverse and Creative Redevelopment Options
GREAT BARRINGTON – Selectboard Chair Sean Stanton and Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin announce that Great Barrington is seeking creative proposals to sell or lease the Housatonic School building.
Located at 207 Pleasant St. in the center of historic Housatonic, the three-story building was built in 1907 as an elementary school, which closed in 2003.
The Great Barrington Selectboard is seeking proposals from a development team with the financial capacity to complete an adaptive reuse and redevelopment plan for the school property that incorporates and preserves the existing features of the building. Selectboard members are placing a high priority on a use for the building that remains consistent with the character of Houstaonic and village center, especially the adjacent Alice Bubriski Memorial Park and Housatonic Community Center.
“Any proposal for redeveloping this site should have a positive impact on the community at large,” Stanton said. “That impact can be achieved a number of ways, and ideally it would come from a combination of new jobs, local investment and new revenue for the town.”
The RFP process began last week, and will proceed along the following schedule:
- RFP Posted in Central Register: May 10
- Advertised in newspaper: May 12
- Site Visit — meet at 207 Pleasant St., Housatonic (optional): June 2 at 2 p.m.
- Deadline to Request a Copy of RFP: June 2
- Deadline to Submit Questions: June 16
- Deadline to Issue RFP Amendments: June 23
- Responses due: June 30 at 2 p.m.
In envisioning a future for the Housatonic School, the Selectboard is open to creative approaches that could include any of the following uses:
- Educational programs for children or adults
- A collaborative workspace that fosters the growth of businesses in a variety of industries, possibly including small scale manufacturing, digital arts, technology or food-focused businesses
- Vocational training
- A cultural center that supports visual arts, music, theater programs or a museum
- General office, commercial or business use
- A combination of residential and commercial uses
“We are excited about the possibilities for reimagining the Housatonic School building,” Town Manager Tabakin said. “It has tremendous potential to satisfy a broad range of local needs while remaining a community asset.”
In addition to the core elements of their proposals, developers are encouraged to consider incorporating multiple programmatic uses that support the property’s core use and are also urged to include space suitable for community meetings in their proposals.
“The Selectboard is eager to see what creative ideas are brought to the table during this process,” Stanton said. “We are confident that the resulting proposals will provide us with a variety of possible directions that would no doubt add to the richness and vitality of historic Housatonic.”
More information on the RFP can be found on the town website. Copies of the RFP may be obtained by sending a written request to [email protected] or to the Town Manager’s Office, located at 334 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230.