Our second meeting allowed us to showcase some of the ideas for reusing the building as a multi-purpose community center as discussed at the first meeting, with a brief Revels North performance. More importantly, it allowed those in attendance to provide detailed feedback on the appropriateness of specific uses and operating hours for the facility.

As before, we sought input from neighbors via our wireless keypad system which allows anonymous voting with instantaneous results shown to all on a projection screen. From the voting, we discovered that our expanded mailing provided quite a few new participants, in addition to those neighbors who attended the first meeting in September.

The primary focus of the second meeting polling was to probe more deeply into what our neighbors thought would be appropriate types of activities and functions for a multi-use community center at the site (see questions 7-18). The results were that a clear majority of those in attendance thought that it would be appropriate to hold private social functions, public social functions, town meetings and forums, cultural events, educational classes and programs, and recreational events at our building. In addition to weekday hours, more than 80% of the neighbors thought it would be appropriate to hold functions in the evenings and on weekends. Lyme understands the responsibility of providing strong, onsite management.

Also at the October 6th meeting, we were able to share some of the history we had discovered about the building.

We are also moving forward with repairs to the slate roof and restoration of the tower clock. We were gratified that more than 85% of the neighbors want to see the clock and hourly bell operational again with the clock face back-lighted. Hayward Slate & Copper of Chelsea, Vermont will start the roof and clock tower repairs in early November. Lyme is reviewing proposals for cleaning and upgrading the Seth Thomas clock and expects to award this contract in November for work to be done next spring.

At the meeting we also presented our proposed floor plans to show how the interior of the space will be configured and how we will meet current building codes while providing ADA access. A key component to providing ADA access will be an addition to the east side of the building which will house a wheelchair lift, code compliant stairs, and accessible restrooms. We are also planning to add two small additions to the rear of the building to provide a second means of egress from the basement and much needed storage. We have been able to determine the original roof configuration over the organ chamber and will be rebuilding the roof to reflect the historic condition.

With the detailed input of our neighbors on the reuse of the building, and the work we have been able to advance on the physical renovation, we are prepared to start the formal regulatory process with the town. To start the process, we have filed an application for the three conditional use categories that will allow the multi-purpose community center to function; namely, public assembly, school, and office uses. Our proposed site plan will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at a public hearing on November 30, 2009 and our conditional use application will be considered by the Zoning Board of Adjustment on December 2, 2009. Both meetings will be advertised and noticed in the Valley News. Both the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously approved both applications in December 2009.

Click Here to download a PDF of the results from the October 6th, 2009 Meeting and the letter from Lyme Properties.