Efforts by the Beal School Reuse Committee to find an appropriate adaptive reuse of the iconic Beal School should be lauded. The solicitation for the Request for Proposal (RFP) yielded just one response. The respondent Civico/Greenly has submitted a detail plan for the development of this municipally owned parcel. While the proposal appears to meet the minimum requirements as set out by the RFP, we should be mindful that the intended use of this acreage should include the preservation of valuable and scarce use of open/green space.
Can we agree that an appropriate reuse of this property designed to benefit the taxpayers of Shrewsbury, should include measures to ensure that a significant portion of this tract is maintained for the enjoyment of these same taxpayers? The neighborhood impact of this proposal will significantly increase traffic, excess lighting, noise, etc., and could be mitigated with the retention of this long-standing community green space. We should not lose sight that a sensible solution in finding a balance between commercial/residential development with much needed recreational land should be the end result.
I appeal to the Beal School Reuse Committee and to the Selectboard to give due consideration to neighborhoods need for recreational, open/green spaces. The accommodation of both interests – open space and development – should be fully vetted.
Again, I appreciate and applaud the efforts put forth by so many to secure the best result for the citizens of Shrewsbury.