PITTSFIELD -- The owner of the Dunkin' Donuts on First Street has filed plans with the city Community Development office seeking permits for a new restaurant at the site of the former Plunkett School at First and Fenn streets.

Cafua Management Co. of North Andover is seeking, among other permits, a special permit for a drive-thru for the 1,800-square-foot Dunkin' Donuts.

The firm would purchase the 103-year-old school building on 0.84 acres and demolish it for the project, which would include an attached 3,600 square feet of retail space.

The current Dunkin' Donuts at First and East streets has created traffic backups during rush hour stemming from vehicles waiting in the drive-thru lane.

Plans for the Plunkett site call for accommodating up to 13 vehicles in the lane.

The school, opened in 1909, was closed in 1977. Forer Development Co. of New York City, a stationery and greeting card firm, then purchased it from the city.

A manufacturing business was located there during the 1980s, first operated by the owner and later by another company, but that operation closed in 1987.

The building has had sporadic use since then, until about three years ago.

Forer has been trying to sell the building for more than 25 years.

Cafua Management, which owns dozens of Dunkin' Donuts franchises in the Northeast, announced a proposed a fast-food restaurant for the Plunkett site last spring, but did not specify what type.

The purchase of the site and the proposed restaurant project were put on hold in May when the city Community Development Board approved a six-month delay, or grace period, on demolition of the old school -- a move strongly recommended by the city Historical Commission.

The 36,000-square-foot brick school is considered structurally sound but would cost millions to restore.

Efforts were under way last year to find another buyer who would restore it for reuse.

The project plans were submitted by James Scalise of S-K Design Group Inc. He could not be reached Tuesday afternoon.

To reach Jim Therrien: jtherrien@berkshireeagle.com,
or 413-496-6247.