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Peterborough voters give OK to sell historic building
The mothballed hall, owned by the town, is in need of a major renovation.
"I think this is a moment where as a community we should consider the importance of this hall," said Tyler Ward, a Heritage Commission member.
Select Board members, though, said the town has no use for the hall and it is in need of $300,000 worth of renovations.
Select Board chairwoman Barbara Miller said soliciting private donations would be in conflict with the town's current efforts to renovate the old National Guard armory into a town community center without using property tax dollars as well as the library trustees' upcoming plans to modernize the library building.
She added as long as the building sits empty, the town has to pay to maintain it and it stays off the tax rolls.
"We didn't want the property to be a tax burden," she said.
Town Administrator Pam Brenner said the Civil War monument and Civil War cannons on the property would likely be moved to another location if the property becomes privately owned.
The building was built in 1834 and was the town's first high school.
The building was used by the American Legion for many years, then it was used by a non-profit as a teen center.
After voting to sell the building, articles to approve a $300,000 bond for renovations and the third warrant article pertaining to the hall, which asked voters to approve a measure that would appease the restrictive deed by placing $172,000 - the appraised value of the building - into the town's parks fund, were passed over by voters.
Miller said it is not likely someone would pay that amount on a building in need of $300,000 in repairs.
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