A New Era – The future of the historic E.B. Newton School

Thursday, September 30, 2010
By Cary Shuman

The historic E.B. Newton School building is entering a new era following the exit of the School Department headquarters to Town Hall and the Parks and Recreation Department to the Middle School.

Based on the Town Manager’s report on the building at the last town council meeting, it appears that the building will need extensive repairs to the upper floors and exterior. We feel that Mr. McKenna did the prudent thing and waited until the two offices were vacated before beginning a full evaluation of the structure.

If the town intends to keep the building up and running and wants other tenants (CAPIC presently occupies space in the building) to lease space, the town obviously must focus its efforts on fixing the building and making sure the boiler is in full working order. The location would seem to be ideal for a law office or a satellite office for a major company that does business in the town or at nearby Logan Airport.

There also may be some state agencies or charitable organizations that might consider opening an office inside the E.B. Newton building.

Although the E.B. Newton has some parking spaces, a determination that  must be made is how many parking spaces would be available for E.B. Newton tenants when the adjacent Cummings School is in session.

On the other hand, if the cost of repairs is sky high, it may be in the town’s best interests to sell the property.

Town Councilor Jeanne Maggio raised a legitimate concern at the last council meeting when she wondered aloud who, the School Department or the town,  would be paying for repairs to the building. That and other questions about the building should be answered quickly and a plan must be drawn up to maximize the town’s benefit from the building.

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