GROTON — Greg Sheldon, chairman of the Municipal Building Committee for Prescott School, gave selectmen an update last week on the group’s progress.
The committee was given a mandate by selectmen to establish costs, identify potential users or buyers, gather input from residents and make a recommendation to the board on what to do with the building.
The 75-year old structure has been under scrutiny by town officials ever since the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District ended its use as an active elementary school and moved its administrative offices there.
Recognizing that Prescott would be underutilized by the school district and that its lease on the building was due to expire in 2015, the Board of Selectmen later included the historic school building in a town-wide study aimed at the creation of affordable housing.
But that idea was shot down by residents and as a result, members of a previous Re-Use Committee that concentrated on mixed commercial/community uses. That effort climaxed with an offer by a local developer to buy and renovate the building into office space.
But when that offer too was rejected by voters, town officials were forced to go back to the drawing board on what to do with the historic structure.
In his presentation July 6, Sheldon reported that his committee had completed its information gathering phase and was prepared over the summer to move on to a project analysis based on data received.
From there, financial and maintenance plans will be drawn up with an eye to having a final report and recommendations ready for selectmen by September.
When asked by town manager Mark Haddad if the committee foresaw the possibility of bringing their recommendation to town meeting in the form of a warrant article, Sheldon said it was a possibility.
With that, Haddad agreed to leave a “place holder” on the warrant just in case. If the scheduling proves too tight, an article could be held over until annual town meeting in the spring.
Board members July 6, also:
* Ratified the appointment of Melynda Kellett as Country Club counselor; Cara Fischetti, Jared Magno and Claudia Yao as Country Club lifeguards; and Nicholas Hommel as assistant camp counselor, all seasonal positions.
* Approved a change in the town’s flag display policy allowing more time for volunteers to put up flags along the streets and to remove them.
* Decided to abandon the idea of holding a meeting with local businesses to discuss the possibility of enforcing a one-hour parking limit along Main Street. According to Haddad, response to a letter sent to businesses seeking comment on the proposal did not justify such a meeting or a change in current parking policy.
The question came about after the board received a request by Main Street business The Natural Market that curbside parking in front of the store be designated as one-hour-only to facilitate customers and delivery vehicles.
But with the impending development of nearby public parking lots over the next year, it was thought that putting restrictions on parking now might be premature. But selectmen were willing to consider the issue and the letter to other businesses was part of the effort to gather more information before making any decision.
In reporting the results of the letter campaign, Haddad said that planning for new public parking lots behind a pair of local banks was moving ahead with design work scheduled to begin soon.