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Renovators on site to assess repairs necessary for historic landmark

Date: 7/13/2010

July 14, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM -- The School Street Barn has stood as a historical landmark for more than a century, however, unutilized for decades. All that may change in the near future as historic preservationists from Traditional Framers LLC of Belchertown will be on site this week to assess the work necessary to make it accessible to the public.

The town entered into an agreement with the company on June 23 for a preliminary cost report for the barn's restoration so that it may be utilized per the options illustrated in the 2009 School Street Barn Reuse Study.

"Everybody agreed that they want to see it used for civic activities: a farmers' market or craft fair or for civic organizations," Deborah Dachos, director of planning and community development, explained.

The estimate will include a new foundation, siding, windows, doors, roof and shingles, according to the agreement.

"We're looking at two options. One is repair in place and the other is disassemble and reassemble," Dachos explained, adding that such tactics are necessary in order to lay a foundation under the structure.

Mayor Richard Cohen commended Dachos for her work to preserve the barn. "The barn is the only one of its kind in the area. We're trying to keep it intact," he added.

Dachos noted the agreement is funded by the barn's gift account.

The report should be complete by Aug. 15 at which time a plan for funding the restoration will be created.