ADAMS — The project to build a lodge and recreational center at the Greylock Glen just got another boost from Town Meeting voters, who approved the purchase of a piece of property that will provide better access, a new picnic grove and additional parking for future visitors to the Glen.
According to Town Administrator Jay Green, voters approved the request to acquire the 1.2-acre property in a unanimous vote. It is on Gould Road, right at the entrance to the Glen area. It is zoned for residential use, but the town wants to use it for additional parking, and the installation of a picnic grove.
The town will use some of the ARPA funding and other grant money for the $100,000 purchase and the landscaping and paving of the parking area.
“As nice a spot it may be to live, all the visitors to the Glen would drive right by there,” Green said. “This is going to be the main entrance to the Glen, so we’d prefer to have control of the immediate area and provide it for use by the public.”
The Town Meeting warrant noted that “the price is not unreasonable given the lot size, the expansive views, and the current real estate demand in the entire region.”
Site preparation for the outdoor center is just about complete, with construction of the building to start in the coming week. The $9 million project, which includes the water and sewer system, will take about two years, Green said. The funding has come in the form of state and federal grants, including the town investment of roughly $1 million over the past few years.
The roughly 1,000 square-foot Outdoor Center will include a food service area, a retail space for an equipment outfitter and an outdoor education center with an amphitheater. RFPs will be issued to find operators for the three elements of the center.
Following construction of the Outdoor Center, operators will be sought to lease nearby plots for a boutique hotel and conference center, and a campsite, Green said.
State and town officials see the project as an economic development investment that will pay off by generating revenue from outdoor enthusiasts visiting to enjoy the Outdoor Center and Adams businesses while they are in town.
“We are quite excited to see this happening after so many years of effort,” Green said.
The Greylock Glen has been the setting for visiting and local hikers, cross-country skiers, and the location of the Thunderbolt backcountry ski competition.
Souliere & Zepka Construction Inc., of Adams, is the prime contractor.
Adams officials have been seeking a way forward in developing Greylock Glen for several decades, and finally took control of the land parcel in 2004.