HUDSON – The Hudson Armory is one step closer to transforming into an arts center.
The Hudson Cultural Alliance recently reached its goal of raising $200,000 in funding for the redevelopment of the armory.
In May 2021, the Hudson Cultural Alliance received a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. As part of the grant agreement, the Hudson Cultural Alliance promised to match the funding from the council within a span of two years.
According to President Tom Desmond, the alliance has reached its goal six months early thanks to donations from local businesses and residents.
“We are very thankful to both the businesses and the citizens of Hudson and the surrounding areas for their generosity, it has really helped us move forward,” Desmond said.
According to Desmond, the funding will be used to pay for the architects’ fees to upgrade the building to safety, health and accessibility codes. The alliance has already used some of the funding to pay for insurance and an environmental inspection, Desmond said.
Among the corporate donors were Main Street Bank, Avidia Bank, Foundation for MetroWest, the Corkin Foundation, the Hudson Business Improvement District and the Hudson Business Association.
In total, $160,000 was donated from businesses, according to Desmond.
He added that $19,000 was raised by residents who made donations through the Armory’s website and about $28,000 was raised by checks to the alliance.
The Hudson Cultural Alliance solicited donations by placing ads in local newspapers, mailing notices, online fundraising and selling promotional items such as canvas bags at town events.
Hudson Cultural Alliance Treasurer Charles Randall said that raising the funds was a “learning curve” that was “very rewarding.”
“We are happy about matching the grant. We were working at it for a while. It was a slow process, but everyone is excited about it,” he said.
Randall added that he enjoyed partnering with local foundations and businesses to raise the money.
Redevelopment to take between three to five years
This is the latest in a lengthy journey dating back to 2018 to transform the Armory into an arts center. The town leased the building to the alliance at the end of August.
Edward Nunes, who is a local architect, has already begun designing the plans for the Armory. Once the plans are completed, Desmond said the alliance will hire a contractor to begin work within six months to a year.
The redevelopment of the Armory is slated to take between three to five years; however, the building may be used for outdoor activities within a year, according to Desmond.
“This Armory will give the town a location where they can do all kinds of events. We are hoping it will become a mainstay for arts and performances,” he said.
Randall said the redevelopment of the Armory will cause “an economic boom” for Hudson and surrounding towns.
“It’s also going to give a home to a lot of artists and several groups in town who want to utilize it. It’s a building that is going to expand downtown and add a lot of value to everything else that has been happening in Hudson,” he said.