By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Town officials are seeking to rent out the old Middle School at 151 Pauline St. and are seeking proposals from firms and individuals to lease portions of the old Middle School (which also briefly served as the high school.)
The property contains three buildings totaling more than 100,000 square feet of space and is being offered on a short term, interim basis.
The formal process of transferring ownership from the School Board to The Town will be on Sept. 1 after the new high school-middle school is completed. The town is taking proposals on the site until September 12 and is offering the space as an as-is condition basis.
The proposal asks for a minimum description of the amount of space needed and the contract is not to go longer than one year. The proposed cost to rent will be based on a square footage and rented per month.
Joseph Domelowicz Jr., assistant to Town Manager/Grants Manager, said the Parks and Recreation Department will stay in its current space in the building for the time being and potentially use the gym space for some programs.
“We are seeking short term tenants only, offering one years leases with possible one year renewals,” said Domelowicz, adding, “The Town Council will make a determination as to what direction they want to move in. The leasing situation is a way to help the town at least partially cover the carrying costs – i.e.., utilities, maintenance and insurance – of the buildings while the town determines what to do with the buildings longterm.”
The town will will be able to utilize the buildings for uses that will not damage the facilities or create a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood, provided those uses are able to use the building in as-is condition.
“It is important to remember that the longterm future of that site is still being developed and it will be several months before the Town Council is able to make a decision about what direction we will go in. In the meantime, the Town Manager and the Council have determined that we have to be able to protect the buildings as assets and ensure that they do not sit idle and deteriorating. the short-term lease option is a way to ensure the buildings are actively used and maintained,” Domelowicz explained.
Domelowicz added that the building department, code enforcement and fire department will be responsible for helping the Town Manager determine what the acceptable uses will be.