December 8, 2021

New Town Hall Set to Open October 31

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The new Town Hall will be opening at 340 Anawan Street on October 31, the Board of Selectmen announced Monday.

Chairman Skip Vadnais noted only certain portions of the building will be available to the public. The town clerk’s office and the tax collector office were determined to be the “highest traffic” areas in the building, so those departments will be in service.

Former selectman Michael Costello, who is serving as the town’s Facilities Maintenance Supervisor, provided the board with an overview of the various building projects, including the renovations at Francis Farm. Vadnais said work there should be completed in two weeks.

Francis Hall will be used for the Council on Aging and the “white building” will serve as the home for the town nurse and Veterans Service Officer. The COA staff have been working out of offices on Winthrop Street following a devastating fire in 2020 at the former facility at 55 Bay State Road.

The 7200 square foot building was a total loss and the insurance proceeds are being used to purchase materials and equipment for the new COA.

Selectman Jim Muri told COA Director Linda Sherman and members of the COA board in July that the town has “limited resources to make modifications” to the buildings at Francis Farm.

Muri noted there were code requirements and zoning requirements which had to be met. In addition, there was an evaluation and upgrade of the kitchen in the main building. Painting and “patch work” on the walls had to be completed, as well as the replacement of ceiling tiles.

Voters at the May town meeting approved the purchase of the 47 acre property at a cost of $2.8 million. The land and building at 340 Anawan Street was purchased for $995,000.

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