Letter from Revere Heritage CommissionBy Guest
Just six months ago, a special town meeting approved one of the most significant zoning changes in recent memory, giving the green light to a major redevelopment on the former Paul Revere property. At that time, town meeting also approved the purchase of approximately seven acres of open space using Community Preservation Act funding. This open space will be joined with approximately 2.2 acres of land with the historically significant Revere copper rolling mill, Revere barn, and the archeologically sensitive site of the Paul Revere home.
Throughout the negotiations, public hearings, and on the floor of town meeting, it was always our intention to provide a thorough process by which the town would determine the future use of the two historic buildings and the open space. At no time before the town meeting was a decision already made, and no promises were made in exchange for a particular use.
After the town meeting adjourned, the Board of Selectmen created the Paul Revere Heritage Commission and its two subordinate committees. There was a thoughtful process of determining what town boards would be represented on the commission and committees and how many citizens would be appropriate. As cited early in the creation of the commission, its mission is to develop and leverage the Paul Revere Heritage Site in the long-term interests of the community. The building use and open space committees are temporary and have more focused tasks.
Currently, the two committees are working to make recommendations to the commission and will continue to work to meet the deadlines provided in the development agreement. Specific to the building use committee, which has become the subject of recent articles in the Canton Citizen (click here and here), we have been working to get a firm grasp of what are the exact space needs of the School Department if it were to occupy space in the historic Revere copper rolling mill. Critical information necessary includes what space is in place today system wide, including locations leased to outside entities, and how it translates to the 6,000 square feet of school administration space initially studied as one of many uses for the rolling mill.
It is also important that we consider possible complementary or alternate uses for the 12,000 square feet of available space in the rolling mill as well as the 6,000 square feet of available space in the Revere barn. Soon, we will be inviting the public to weigh in on this important decision that will have long-term consequences for the entire community. Throughout this process, we will continue to work diligently and in good faith to gather all information necessary to make an informed recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.
The members of the commission are fully aware of the overall issue presented by the School Department. We are committed to working together for the good of the town, our historic resources, and the needs of our schoolchildren.
Jeremy J. Comeau, Chairman
Paul Revere Heritage Commission
Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=31302