Housatonicschool

The Housatonic Improvement Committee will present to the Select Board its findings on the old Housatonic School building. Its recommendation? Don't tear the building down.

GREAT BARRINGTON — Don’t tear the building down. That’s the recommendation the Housatonic Improvement Committee will present Monday night to the Select Board regarding the

former elementary school building

on Pleasant Street. The committee was formed last year to make recommendations to town bodies, including what to do with the 14,000-square-foot building that, until 2005, housed the village’s elementary school. Through the years, the town has issued several requests for proposals to put the 112-year-old building into some type of re-use, all to no avail. But the committee is recommending that the town try again. “For a whole host of reasons, we believe there’s a good chance that it could be redeveloped into something more purposeful that would benefit the town as a whole,” Dan Bailly, the chair of the committee, told The Eagle on Friday. Drawing from the town’s master plan and input from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the public, the committee has narrowed down what it would like to see the building used for. Bailly said affordable housing, live/work rentals, retail, office, child care, and some type of community space all top the list. “In the last year or so, there have been a couple of interested parties that have expressed interest in the building and who have kind of been waiting for our group to do this proposal and see if what they’re thinking about fits in with our findings,” Bailly said. “In the past, there hasn’t been anyone out there waiting, but now we feel there are at least two or three.” Berkshire Waldorf School, for instance, has expressed an interest, he said. The committee will formally present its recommendation at the Select Board’s

regular meeting

on Monday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. The committee also plans to host a design charrette on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Great Barrington Fire Station beginning at 10 a.m. Architects and designers have been invited to discuss best uses for the building.

GREAT BARRINGTON — Don’t tear the building down.

That’s the recommendation the Housatonic Improvement Committee will present Monday night to the Select Board regarding the former elementary school building on Pleasant Street.

The committee was formed last year to make recommendations to town bodies, including what to do with the 14,000-square-foot building that, until 2005, housed the village’s elementary school.

Through the years, the town has issued several requests for proposals to put the 112-year-old building into some type of re-use, all to no avail. But the committee is recommending that the town try again.

“For a whole host of reasons, we believe there’s a good chance that it could be redeveloped into something more purposeful that would benefit the town as a whole,” Dan Bailly, the chair of the committee, told The Eagle on Friday.

Drawing from the town’s master plan and input from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the public, the committee has narrowed down what it would like to see the building used for. Bailly said affordable housing, live/work rentals, retail, office, child care, and some type of community space all top the list.

“In the last year or so, there have been a couple of interested parties that have expressed interest in the building and who have kind of been waiting for our group to do this proposal and see if what they’re thinking about fits in with our findings,” Bailly said. “In the past, there hasn’t been anyone out there waiting, but now we feel there are at least two or three.”

Berkshire Waldorf School, for instance, has expressed an interest, he said.

The committee will formally present its recommendation at the Select Board’s regular meeting on Monday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

The committee also plans to host a design charrette on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Great Barrington Fire Station beginning at 10 a.m. Architects and designers have been invited to discuss best uses for the building.

Felix Carroll can be reached at fcarroll@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6391.

Felix Carroll can be reached at fcarroll@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6391.