Monday February 4, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- A permit application before the city Community Development Board envisions the former Notre Dame School on Melville Street with multiple apartments and light manufacturing space.

Scarafoni Associates of North Adams has submitted an application for a special permit to convert the old school into 11 apartments on the first and second floors and manufacturing space at the basement level for hand weaving.

The building at 41 Melville St. has been occupied by Sam Kasten Handweaving.

Robert B. Macintosh of Bradley Architects Inc. of Pittsfield, the project architects, said the design calls for retaining the exterior walls of the school and fitting apartments within the existing classroom spaces so that interior walls will be preserved.

The developers said the mixed-use format, including hand weaving manufacturing, is consistent with the downtown Arts Overlay District, which in addition to allowing "specialty artistic manufacturing," encourages development of housing in existing buildings.

The Community Development Board is scheduled to discuss the project Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Council chambers at City Hall.

Plans call for five apartments on the first floor and six on the second. There are nine one-bedroom apartments and a pair of two-bedroom units, both located on the first floor. The one-bedroom apartments are to be 795 square feet, while the two-bedroom units will be 1,066 square feet.


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The permit application also requests a waiver from affordable housing requirements because the project is 100 percent privately funded.

David Carver of Scarafoni Associates, who is overseeing the project, could not be reached concerning the cost estimate.

Included in the application is demolition of a dilapidated wood-frame building at the corner of Melville and First streets, elimination of an existing curb cut on First Street and restoration of a sidewalk there and a new curb cut on Melville Street.

A landscaped and lawn area of 3,460 square feet is planned in the area where the building will be demolished. The application also calls for 21 parking spaces and an enclosed Dumpster area.

To reach Jim Therrien:
jtherrien@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6247
On Twitter: @BE_therrien