Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wait For It, Wait For That Other Shoe...


The Town of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, acting through its Chief Procurement Officer and the Board of Selectmen, invites Sealed Proposals for the lease of approximately 6,500 square feet of office space, for town hall purposes. ..."

I received the above notice in an email today.

Seems that wiser heads are prevailing. First the realization that refurbishing the old Town House is just not fiscally responsible at this time, and second, the actual start of the search for an other space that would be affordable, and offer everything the town needs.

So far, so good. I like what I am seeing here. Fiscal responsibility, realization of what would be the best for the town, planning--so far I am impressed.

But, wait, this is Sturbridge Town Government; there's always something that goes ka-floing, even with the best of intentions. I am going to wait for the other shoe to drop.

In a couple of months I imagine there will be another email:

Town of Sturbridge Announcement

The town is pleased to announce the leasing of a 6500 sf of office space. The space will be renovated to meet our needs, and is 1/3 of the projected cost.

The additional savings will allow the Town to purchase a 15 seat commuter van to ease the Town Hall employees commute to the new office location in North Adams.


  1. You got this wrong, the leasing of space is a temporary measure. They have to go somewhere while the Town Hall is being rebuilt, then when its finished, they're back there!

  2. The building is going to cost way more than was approved. The building does not own any parking, and is difficult to access. Restoring the building will not give the town any more dearly needed space. To gut the building, slide in new girders, new electrical, plumbing, heat, a new roof, brick work, exterior woodwork, windows, rebuild the interior will be a total waste of money. Restore it for use as an auxiliary town building, or museum, and lease office space with the sf. we need, safe access, and parking. I don't think the residents will approve giving more money to this project.

  3. Did anyone wat h the fireworks last night, it came toward the end of the BOS meeting. Good for Scot for bringing up the issue of the AllStar Building. No wonder it was going to cost just a bit less than redoing the current Town Hall.
    The AllStar building was going to be refaced, why? Repainted when it was repainted two years ago, why? It currently has 21 office spaces, currently we do with we do with 12, it had to be reconfigured, why? Complete new landscape, why?
    I can understand the traffic light, but more police presence in that area would help.
    Hopefully the Special Town Meeting will turn down the request for more funds, I believe that they'll have to come back for another request if this is approved. Town Hall is bad enough but Center School is a disaster.

  4. Kathryn should educate herself before she makes such strong statements. The Center School building set diagonally across the road from Town Hall is part of this renovation project. The renovation of Center School will allow for the additional office space needed for municipal offices. Many towns like ours have more than one location for town offices. With the technology we live with now, the idea of using both buildings for town offices makes perfect sense. Working on these two buildings so they can stand strong for another 100 years, as they sit complimenting our historic Town Common, makes simple common sense.

    Kathryn speaks to the idea of restoring Town Hall to use as a museum. Who in the world would support the idea of pouring money into museum space for our town? We need to maintain and renovate both of these buildings for municipal office space. They sit in our most unique area of town, an area vital to our tourist economy.

  5. I am VERY aware of the Center school being involved in the plan. I spoke of the Town Hall project, and assumed everyone would understand that it involved both buildings. For a lot of money we refurbish both buildings, or for the same amount, or a little more, or less we build new, or for way less, we lease. The Center School has limited access and egress, limited parking, and limited space as well. The climate has changed drastically in the past year, we need to be not only pragmatic, frugal, but reasonable in our decision making. We cannot let sentiment interfere with the decision.

  6. Scott raised questions and they were answered. Apparently he knows people who can do the work for less money. He does not trust the experts today but last year he did trust the experts for a new waste water treatment facility and voted for the largest possible. Now he wants to discard the expert’s figures and use his own! You can’t have it both ways you either trust the experts or not and show proof of your accusations. If Scott had a plan he should have shown it last night. It is fine to disagree but give a plan of action to show your way is better for the Town. He jumps in at the last minute makes accusations and backs them up with nothing. No one opposed to the Town Hall renovation project has come up with a better plan.

  7. Anonymous...why isn't the All Star building a better plan? We don't need a new facade before that building can be occupied, we won't have to go out and rent space while it is being worked on, it will need only one elevator not two.
    Please tell me, why isn't that a better plan?

  8. The Town administrator showed figures last night that the all-star building will cost the tax payers more then the present Town Hall project. If the town went that route as some people still believe is better, what then does the Town do with the town hall and center school and what will that cost the tax payers? Leasing space for a Town Hall is a waste of money. Throwing money out the window and not owning your own Town Hall is ridiculous.

  9. Buying and renovating the All Star building only makes sense if we can purchase the building for about $500,000.00 less than the current asking price. If we can postpone things for 6 months the price will probably come down to that level. In a soft real estate market the building is not worth the asking price.


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