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Historical Commission Gives Green Light to Wrecking Ball With Some Regret

by Bobby Blair
February 17, 2018

Three members of the town's Historical Commission Wednesday night debated briefly about the proposed demoltion of the Andrews School. The previous week commission members failed to conclude about a decision about the school's fate citing a lack of a demolition permit application.

Builder Steve O'Leary, above right, attended the meeting and told commission members of his plans to build four single family homes on the property. O'Leary purchased the property from the town for $1,000 last fall. O'Leary noted the sentimental feelings for the school as he was approached by a former student now in his 70's who wished to tour the school. O'Leary had to refuse the request due to unsafe conditions but was able to find an old clock in the building for the man. Frank Daniels seemed to sum up the inevitable saying any delay in the demolition would only cause the builder hardship. Judy Grosjean said that by not voting to preserve the building the commission would be sending out the wrong message. The building meets all the criteria we look for in preserving old structures including architecture, and the fact that WPA (Works Project Administration) funds were used to build the school.

The commission voted to preferably preserve the building which would halt demolition by 3-4 months, but then voted to waive the by-laws allowing for the demolition to proceed. Chairwoman Kim Sullivan said the board didn't wish to be seen as totally ingnoring the historical value of the building. O'Leary told the HollistonReporter.com that he hopes the tear down process will begin in the near future. Sand piled in the playground of the school will be used to fill the vacant cellar hole for saftey purposes.

 

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Comments (5)

The town had plenty of time to do something with this building so don't be mad at the contractor we should be thanking him for cleaning up that eye sore of a property

- Frank mahon | 2/19/18 12:26 PM

It's really sad that this historic building is facing a wrecking ball... could some of the bricks, and maybe other parts, or pieces of wood or as you did before- the clock or some momento pieces be salvaged for people who would like a little piece of that school for the memory could have? That school has fond memories for me as my first born son went there for kindergarten. That was his first school experience was in that building...and he is no longer here... he passed away in 2008. It'd be a nice way to remember that first school experience for him.

- Wendy Bruno | 2/18/18 12:51 AM

I don't particularly feel badly for this contractor considering the amount of money he stands to make by building 4 homes on this site which he paid only $1,000. How is the delay a hardship for him.

- Laureen Douglas | 2/17/18 6:06 PM

Can we get some wrecking ball action of this posted on YouTube? Always a fan of that. When's kickoff?

- Jonathan Utah | 2/17/18 5:06 PM

Could someone at least see if the demo contractor would remove the copper cap from the copula for the Historical Society, and if they are not interested I will be willing to take it. It should be saved !!

- Ben Clarkson | 2/17/18 10:38 AM

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