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Andrews School to Face Wrecking Ball

by Bobby Blair
October 3, 2017

Above Steve O'Leary of O'Leary Builders presents his proposal to selectmen Monday night. O'Leary, who placed a bid for $1,000 for the long vacant former school on School Street, told the board he would tear down the building and place four single family homes on the lot.

Dennis Morgan who bid $75,000 for the building told selectmen he would tear down the newer addition to the building on the Spring Street side and add-on for his proposed 14 condo's at market rate. Morgan said there would be parking for 24 vehicles.

Michelle Hamilton a direct abutter to the school questioned Morgan about his proposed parking lot under which the sewage would be treated, and about raising the level of the lot. Hamilton told Morgan that her yard is already below grade from the existing playground which would form the new parking lot. Morgan felt the lot would have to be raised by at least a foot.

Several other abutters including the Mottors, Ted and Danielle, spoke about increased traffic on the street. The Mottor's property abuts both Washington and School Streets. After hearing several more Andrews neighbors, the board voted 3-0 to award the bid to O'Leary Builders  The new owners of the building will now have to submit to the building process and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, O'Leary hopes to have the building gone by next fall.

Jay Robinson (left) and Paul Saulnier of the 8 Arch Bridge Committee told selectmen that 7 bids had been received for renovation work on the viaduct which was built in 1846. Bids ranged from 644k to 1M which were all over the amount the committee had budgeted for the work. The committee informed the Community Preservation Committee as well as the Finance Committee. The Preservation Committee was non committal about further funding and will await community input at their next meeting. Selectmen were more generous with their support and Robinson thanked them for their stamp of approval.

Selectmen accepted the resignation of Catherine Hoft as a Library Trustee.


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Comments (6)

In regard to attending the Andrews School... It breaks my heart to see the deterioration and now the proposal to demolish the building. For whatever it's worth, I started first grade there in 1946. In 1923 both of my parents attended the old school that existed in the parking lot area on School St. I have a picture of them sitting on the front stairs with their 2nd grade class. Lots of good memories there. Just sayin.... Shirley (Hamlet) Chipman

- Shirley (Hamlet) Chipman | 10/6/17 9:56 AM

This particular piece of property went "so cheap" because it is a lot more than just an unimproved lot. You have to take into consideration the costs of removing the existing structures just to start. For either of the renovations proposed, it would take a significant amount of money and work to get the property in shape... to turn it into 4 house lots, you have to remove the building (including the lead paint and asbestos that are most likely present), remove the parking lot, and get the whole site measured and surveyed and go through the town process to legally zone the lots. If you're renovating the building, it's enormously expensive, considering it's been basically abandoned for over 15 years, and most likely contains dangerous chemicals. Plus constructing a new building meeting current building codes inside of a century old building is going to be a challenge at best... not to mention the septic system needed for the proposed 14 units.

- Vince Packard | 10/4/17 2:29 PM

I am sadden to hear that the structure will be possibly torn down. I attended 1st grade there in 1970. It was always a landmark in downtown Holliston. I am no longer a resident of the town, my family left in 2003 (40 year resident), but still have connections. Doesn't the Historical Society have input into the direction of the building? Can't this be handled in the same manner as the original town hall was (now residential housing). They don't make brick like that anymore. Just my thoughts...

- Jeff Nilsen | 10/4/17 10:51 AM

How was it purchased so cheap when land and houses are so expensive in the town?

- Drew | 10/3/17 7:07 PM

Good call! O'Leary Builders is a highly reputable, local company and they do exceptional construction work.....difficult to imagine a better qualified bidder.

- Jim Barry | 10/3/17 2:14 PM

I went to school there in the 70's. Any chance of getting souvenirs before it gets dropped? Me

- Me | 10/3/17 2:01 PM



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