ADAMS -- The town was awarded a $600,000 grant Monday by the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for repairs to its vacant middle school building.
Adams Memorial School, which the town hopes to lease to a nonprofit and a startup sauce-making company, has been in dire need of a new roof but lacking sufficient funds to pay for it.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said Monday evening the grant will likely be enough to repair the roofing covering the part of the building to be repurposed "and then some." The town will assess exactly how much it can afford to fix when bids for the project come in.
The town must execute a contract for the repairs with the state before releasing an official timetable for the repairs, according to Butler.
Butler noted that when the town applied for the grant earlier this summer, its expectation was that the state will look to complete the repairs before the end of 2013.
"There could be a quick turnaround," Butler said.
Potential tenants include Ooma Tesoro's, a Windsor-based marinara sauce manufacturer, and Adams' nonprofit Youth Center Inc.
Butler said negotiations between the town and the potential tenants had come to a halt while the grant application was pending.
Nothing is set in stone, Butler said, but the town is on "good solid ground with the potential tenants." The parties will likely begin negotiating again in the near future.
The building needs "massive upgrades to its heating system" in addition to the roof repairs, Butler said.
The grant was awarded through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Adams Memorial has been empty and in need of repair since its closure in June of 2012, before the middle school merged with the high school at the remodeled Hoosac Valley High School that fall.
"This grant funding will be of great benefit to the Adams community," said First Berkshire District state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, in a statement Monday.
Adams is one of 31 cities and towns across the commonwealth to receive the funding. Gov. Deval Patrick announced a pool of $31 million in available CDBG funding in July.
Only cities and towns with a population of less than 50,000 people were allowed to apply for the grant.
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