ADAMS -- The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District will formally end its Memorial School lease agreement with the town effective Oct. 31, Town Administrator Jonathan Butler reported at the Wednesday Selectmen’s meeting.
The building, in need of millions in refurbishments and upgrades, has been discussed over the past year by officials as a major challenge to the town. Butler has stated previously that it may be years before a sustainable solution presents itself.
For the time being, the town and school district are beginning to prepare for the initial transition.
"We’ve been working with them collaboratively on the middle school this summer already, so we’ll probably have a list of criteria that will need to be met before the town will accept the building back into our possession."
Butler said the terms would pertain to removing materials, cleaning, structural checks and aesthetic improvements.
Its been suggested by Butler and other officials that chartering a Middle School Commission and a task force to perform outreach, promotional work and seek out grant and loan opportunities for building improvements will most likely be the chosen route.
The town set aside $35,000 to maintain the building in its fiscal 2013 budget, and though he thinks the amount sufficient, Butler said officials can ask the Finance Committee for additional funds if necessary.
In other business, a project to clean
The project, approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, is estimated to cost $500,000, an expense the town expects pay with a five-year bond.
"There’s going to be a mandatory walk-through for all interested contractors that are qualified for the project and the bids will be due on Thursday, August 30th," Butler said.
The project is slated for this season.
Selectmen also approved the adoption of the Berkshire County Hazard Mitigation Plan at the meeting.
The lengthy document lays out guidelines for municipal action in the event of a myriad of disaster situations, and adopting it puts the town in a stronger position to qualify for federal reimbursement funds after such an event, Butler said.
Near the close of the meeting, Selectmen’s Chair Arthur "Skip" Harrington read an announcement from the Adams Visitors Center manager Carol Cain asking all town entities to post upcoming activities at the center.
"We are trying to establish a central location where all activities going on in Adams and Cheshire can be easily accessed," Harrington said. "If the public becomes confident that all functions are on the bulletin board, it can become a very useful way of advertising events and promoting local businesses and groups."