PLYMOUTH – After a year-long hold-up in court, Mayor David Merchant said the sale of the old Prospect Street School will be moving forward.
Merchant said the legal battle between the town and a neighbor of the property had “finally been put to bed” with a signed agreement. The neighbor, Merchant said, did not originally want to see townhouses built on the field near the school.
Craig Bothroyd, principal for Prospect Ridge LLC, said in 2017 he plans to renovate the old, abandoned school and create a total of about 50 rental units. There will be 24 units in the school itself and 26 townhouse-style units on the field.
“I met with Craig three to four weeks ago and he was still eager and ready to go,” Merchant said. “However, he said that he can’t start on the project right away since he is currently committed to other things. The town attorney is working on the paperwork for the closing and we expect to be moving forward in the next couple of weeks. Once we can get a closing and an approval from the town council it will be a done deal.”
Merchant said the legal fees cost the town approximately $40,000. As part of the agreement to end the dispute, Bothroyd had to agree to complete the school renovation before anything could be built on the field.
“I'm extremely happy to see things moving forward,” Merchant said. “We’ve spent a lot of money spent on attorney fees. I’m glad we can stop spending money on this and put this building back on tax roll.”
Merchant said Prospect Street School is currently a boarded up, “blighted mess.” The brick and stone school was built in 1900 and has sat empty since June 2008.
The school was closed as part of a district-wide change which led to the opening of the current Terryville High School. The previous high school was converted to what is now Eli Terry Jr. Middle School. Harry S. Fisher Middle School also became Harry S. Fisher Elementary School during this time. The former Main Street School, which was sold to EdAdvance last year and transformed into the Partnership Learning Academy, was also originally closed as part of this district-wide change.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.