PLYMOUTH - The old Prospect Street School will be sold to a developer who plans to turn the building into apartments and build townhouses on the athletic field.
Mayor David Merchant said the town has a contract to sell the old elementary school to Prospect Ridge LLC, which is based in Goshen.
Craig Bothroyd, principal for Prospect Ridge LLC, said he plans a total of about 50 rental units, 24 in the school itself and 26 townhouse-style units on the field.
The century-plus old school needs a lot of work, Bothroyd said. “There is no historic grant money in it, but we want to keep all of the masonry components and the trim work, a lot of the original doors and hardware, but at the same time make them very energy efficient and up-to-date.”
He described them as “market rate apartments, so it will not be low income housing. We’re hoping for more than middle of the road but I don’t know that I would venture to call them luxury.”
“We’re hoping to have all the permitting accomplished within the next three to four months and then hopefully start construction by late winter, early spring. Work on the school building would probably take about a year, maybe a year and a half, and we hope the townhouse-style units would follow suit in another half year, or three quarters of a year, so it would probably two years overall,” he said.
The hillside location of the property doesn’t pose any problems, he added. “We’re going to try to utilize it exactly how it is and just install additional drainage.”
Bothroyd said his construction company, Greenstone LLC, has worked on similar projects in other parts of the state for other clients but this will be the first such project he owns himself.
The school has sat empty since June of 2008. It closed as part of a district-wide change that saw the opening of the current Terryville High School, the old high school converted to Eli Terry Jr. Middle School, Harry S. Fisher Middle School converted to an elementary school, and some students moved to Plymouth Center Elementary School. Main Street School closed at that time as well and was used for Board of Education offices for a while, but is currently empty.
According to the town assessor’s website, the brick/stone school was built in 1900 on 1.76 acres. The land is valued at $79,800 and the building at $580,680. The actual selling price has not yet been disclosed.
Prospect School has been vacant for years now, Merchant said. “If you take a tour there now it’s a little eerie in there.”
He said it will ultimately have to go through the Town Council at some point because the town is selling the property.
“This is a big deal for us,” Merchant said. “It’s been sitting there for years. Since I’ve been mayor, since 2013, we’ve had three different contractors that were interested in it but the one we have now is the best person that we’ve come across by far.”
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.