April 11, 2016
We’d like to clarify some misinformation currently circulating about the Recreation Building at 55 Barre Street. No decision has been made to sell the building. We are simply in the exploratory stages to see if there is a business interested in locating at this site. Any future decisions will weigh the economic benefit with interim and future programming needs. These conversations will happen in a public forum and decisions will be made by the City Council.
With the transition of the Recreation Department to City management as of July 1, 2016, all facets of the organization and programming are being examined. This includes the building at 55 Barre Street. This building, while providing gymnasium space that is an asset to the community, has significant challenges. It is not accessible, it needs significant preventative maintenance work, and there is concern that it does not meet the long-term service needs of the community. At a minimum it needs approximately $500,000 of work to make it accessible and do basic preventative maintenance. This financial reality has prompted us to look for other ways to address interim and future community service needs. As a result, we are exploring if there is a business interested in purchasing the building for an economic development project. The advantages of this may be that the building is brought on to the tax rolls, there is a new vibrant business for our downtown, and the City receives assets that could be used, in part, to construct a new community services center.
As noted above, no decision has been made to sell the building. If there is interest in purchasing the building, the City Council will weight this option against interim and long-term programming needs in a public session. For more information, please contact Jessie Baker at email@example.com.