ADAMS -- The town will soon take its first stab at big grant money to fix 35,000 square feet of roof atop Adams Memorial School.
Selectmen unanimously voted to submit an application for $600,000 in state Community Development Block Grant Reserve program funds at a meeting Wednesday.
The application will put the town in competition with other municipalities for a pool of leftover 2012 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
"We're looking for any means and ways available to save the building," said Ryan Sarchi, programs and grants coordinator for the Office of Community Development. "We're lucky [the funds are] available."
The funds could go a long way towards replacing the 61-year-old school's leaking and dilapidated roof, Sarchi said, particularly above the auditorium, gym and some classroom sections.
The state program is contingent upon there being remaining CDBG funds at the end of a year, and is not annual.
MassDevelopment is an advocate of the project. Sarchi said the organization provided some free engineering assessments and initially pointed the town toward the CDBG reserve funds.
"They told us that it's a perfect project in terms of meeting all the requirements they're looking for," Sarchi said.
MassDevelopment seeks economic development opportunities. Adams has sought to turn a potential Adams Memorial project into just that.
Officials are in talks with Youth Center Inc. and Ooma Tesoro's, a Windsor-based marinara sauce company, each party having proposed to become tenants inside the building.
But whether the proposals will come to fruition depends on grant funding to rehabilitate the school.
Selectmen and Town Administrator Jonathan Butler have said the cost of fixing up the former middle school would be too much for the town to bear without it, running well into the millions.
The grant application goes out Aug. 9, Sarchi said, and should have a quick response.