GROTON — The Board of Selectmen intends to form an advisory committee to study reuse options of the Prescott School, and it heard some suggestions on new group’s membership and specific responsibilities on Feb. 22.
The recommendations were drawn up by Town Manager Mark Haddad, who advised a seven-member group that would include three at-large residents, one business owner, one selectman, one Planning Board member and one representative from the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District.
Under Haddad’s proposal, the group would be charged with studying several potential uses of the building and drafting a final recommendation. Options listed included a community center, affordable housing, cultural space, commercial space, re-establishing a school or charter school, or conversion into a fire station.
Haddad also suggested the group be responsible for prioritizing those uses, delivering timeline and cost estimates, identifying possible funding sources, and other details.
Board response to the proposal was generally positive, though Selectman Anna Eliot wasn’t sure about the proposed make-up of the group. Selectman Fran Dillon also asked potential tax income from the reuse options be included within the report.
Provided the board endorses formation of the group, Haddad said they could move forward early as March 1, saying the town should start getting the word out for potential members. He said only one letter of interest had been submitted as of that night.
Discontinued as a public school a couple of years ago, the Prescott building is currently used as administrative offices and overflow space by the Groton-Dunstable school district. However, local officials consider the building underutilized and have been seeking reuse options for the structure in recent months.
Selectmen had considered issuing a Request for Proposal to see if private developers were intersected in converting the building into affordable housing or office space, but that plan came under fire from both neighbors and residents at a public hearing in February. The board resolved to form a study group shortly after.