Great Barrington relocates hearing on hotel proposed for Searles school site

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GREAT BARRINGTON >> A public hearing on a proposal to build a hotel on the site of the former Searles Middle School has been moved to the Monument Mountain High School auditorium.

After some discussion, the Selectboard on Monday voted 5-0 to change the location of the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

The hearing had been scheduled at Monument Valley Middle School, but that school had a band concert scheduled at the same time, according to Town Administrator Jennifer Tabakin.

Local developer Vijay Mahida is seeking to raze the century-old school building on Bridge Street and put up a 95-room hotel. The plan has generated considerable opposition from residents who believe the hotel is too large for the community's needs — and that razing the structure negates the historical bylaw on which the construction plan is based.

Tabakin emphasized that the town wants to make sure that residents are aware of the venue. A sign at the middle school will direct interested parties to the high school should they not be aware of the change.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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