Centre School/Town Hall Annex To Get New Life As Veterans Housing
Feb 19, 2018 05:18PM
● By Bill Gilman
The Centre School/Town Hall Annex on Spring Avenue. (Dracut Assessor Photo)
The Dracut Centre School/Town Hall Annex will soon have new life, as housing for veterans.
Last week, the Board of Selectmen voted, 4-0 (Alison Hughes was not present), to grant permission to the Lowell-based Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA), to develop the town-owned property for use as affordable housing units for working veterans.
The two-story building, built in 1900, sits on a .68-acre lot at 11 Spring Park Ave. According to Town Assessor records, the property has an assessed value of $367,800. In a recent interview with the Lowell Sun, Town Manager James Duggan said the renovation of the building into housing units will ultimately get the property onto the town's tax rolls, for the first time.
The CBA's preliminary plans call for carving up the 7,452 sq. ft. of living space into eight units of affordable housing.
Last year, the town put out an invitation to private developers to purchase the property. However, due to the need to remove asbestos and make considerable renovations, there were no takers.
The CBA approached town officials in November with its idea for Veterans housing. It's a model the group used to develop the Haverhill Welcome Home Veterans Housing Project, the CBA's first project outside Lowell.
In speaking to the Lowell Sun, Duggan called the Haverhill project "impressive." He also said the project will ultimately involve the cooperative efforts of local veterans organizations and Greater Lowell Tech.
In addition, Dracut's Community Preservation Committee has voted to commit $200,000 in CPA funds to maintain the historic character and the exterior of the building.
Next up in the process will be the actual sale of the property from the town to the CBA for $1.