ADAMS — Local officials began carving out a future for the Adams Memorial Middle School by hosting a tour Thursday, allowing interested parties to view the space and ask questions on its potential use.
A group of over 20 toured the halls, a mixture of interested parties, Hoosac Valley High School staff and town government and school committee officials. Town Administrator Jonathan Butler introduced the event by saying the town “wanted to figure out what’s real and what’s not” in terms of reuse and redevelopment for the building.
“This is one of those projects where if you asked a thousand different people, you’d get a thousand different answers,” Butler said. “But we don’t want to see this building fall into the cycle of some of the other properties in town. Whether it’s used for local purposes, another entity is brought in to put on the tax roles, or some combination thereof, we want to start exploring options.”
Hoosac Valley High School principal Henry Duval led the tour, which covered the entirety of the 23,000-squarefoot building, from the locker rooms to the gym, cafeteria and library, through classrooms and even down to the boiler room.
The building currently houses Hoosac Valley High School. Hoosac leased the Memorial School for a year while the Savoy Road building undergoes a multimillion dollar overhaul. The town is set to take control of the building after this school year, and town officials, thinking ahead to that date, issued requests for expressions of interest for the property on Feb. 7.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan and Butler have previously expressed the town’s willingness to hear any ideas about the property, and Butler repeated this Thursday, encouraging those in attendance to “write to the town” with any ideas or questions.
Those present for the tour included representatives from the Adams Youth Center and Berkshire Dance Theatre.
Agreeing with Cesan’s stated goal of giving an accurate “understanding” of the building to potential buyers, leasers and nonprofits, the building’s maintenance issues were discussed candidly during the tour. Leaky ceilings throughout and a nonfunctional boiler were chief among these concerns.
Town Building Inspector Scott Koczela said during the tour that the building could use some “TLC,” but was optimistic about its future.
“It’s an old facility, but everything is up to snuff and working properly,” Koczela said. “So we’ll see.”