ADAMS -- The town is preparing a bid package for repairs to the Adams Memorial Middle School building's roof, which could see work through the winter.

A request for proposals could be advertised by December, according to Community Development Director Donna Cesan.

Adams received a $600,000 federal grant last month to repair the dilapidated roof on the school building, which closed in 2011. Town officials hope to lease out the vacant space to community-oriented organizations, such as Adams' Youth Center Inc.

Cesan informed the Historical Commission on Wednesday of the town's progress on the repair project. Despite the cold, the project may begin over the winter.

"It might be good for the town," Cesan said.

Additional work over the winter months would be a boost to local contractors, Cesan noted.

Cesan said the town is still in the process of determining how much of the roof can be fixed. The grant should pay for the part of the roof that covers the gymnasium, auditorium and cafeteria -- the areas of the building the town was hoping to lease out first.

"We feel confident we can get all these major elements of the building protected," Cesan said.

Youth Center Inc. hopes to use the building for a fitness center and other community activities, while Ooma Tesora's, a start-up marinara sauce company, is looking to utilize the kitchen.

The roof may also be repaired over some classrooms, according to Cesan.

The town is working with MassDevelopment -- the state's development authority -- to explore converting classrooms into senior housing.

"We're in the process of evaluating what the potential use is," Cesan said.

Results from an initial analysis of the potential uses for the building will be available to the town "within a couple months."

The school's roof is not deficient in all places, Cesan noted. The project will not be a full replacement, but repairs and replacement where needed.

Responding to questions from the Historical Commission, Cesan said the project will not address any part of the building other than the roof, retaining its current character.

The Historical Commission also discussed the possibility of adding the school to the historical registry, but decided against it.

To reach Adam Shanks,
email ashanks@thetranscript.com.