EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 22, 2013

Selectmen to review new proposals

NORTH ANDOVER — The selectmen are expected to review five development proposals for the former Bradstreet School tonight.

The board is also scheduled to discuss the articles at the May 21 annual Town Meeting. Tonight’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The selectmen’s first attempt at obtaining proposals for the former school at 70 Main St. netted just one response, from A Coalition for a Better Acre. The nonprofit developer, which has rehabilitated numerous properties in Lowell into affordable housing, offered to buy Bradstreet for $300,000 and build low-cost apartments on the site.

The Coalition also wanted the town to contribute $720,000 of its Community Preservation Act money to the project. The selectmen voted Feb. 25 to reject the Coalition’s plan and authorized Town Manager Andrew Maylor to request new proposals.

The selectmen were pleased when Maylor told them at their April 8 meeting that five developers submitted proposals. Without providing further details, Selectman Donald Stewart said he is encouraged by the latest possible plans for Bradstreet School.

Bradstreet School served North Andover students for nearly a century. Since the school was closed in 2005, the building has been vacant – but the town still must spend an estimated $40,000 per year to maintain it.

The May 21 annual Town Meeting will consider numerous questions, including the proposed $84.3 million budget, a request to borrow slightly more than $4 million to pay for energy upgrades at various town-owned buildings, zoning changes and a bylaw that would permit residents to keep hens on their property.

Besides Bradstreet School and Town Meeting, the board is scheduled to review several other issues, including an Earth Day event planned for May 4; the request of Frank Romano of the Museum of Printing to close Massachusetts Avenue on June 16 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the annual Printing Arts Fair; and Tyler Bainbridge’s petition to close Woodcrest Drive on June 1 for the Longboard for Life skateboard competition, which would benefit the American Cancer Society.

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