Fort River Elementary School
The current working plan involving three of the four upcoming major building projects is a bit like playing dominoes (or musical chairs): The new DPW to be located at the town owned Fort River School, freeing up their former location for the new South Fire Station.
Current DPW is located in 100 year old former Trolley building
Only problem is the Fort River School is still a (mostly) functional elementary school.
Should the $35 million or so Debt Exclusion Override for the new $65+ million Mega School pass Town Meeting this Fall and the voters at the November election the grand plan will be on its way.
Although it will take a few years before the new school is completed in two phases and construction can commence with the new DPW and then the new Fire Station.
But if those best laid plans fail to pass the first major hurdle of an Override vote this Fall both the DPW and Fire Station will have to find new site locations. The DPW already did a feasibility study that concluded the Fort River School site was #1 but they also identified at least two other adequate sites:
1) Ball Lane, North Amherst (former Matuszko Trucking)
2) Town land between Belchertown Road and Gull pond
Although the South Fire Station project is only now preparing to undertake a formal feasibility study, at least two sites have been mentioned as a possible location that falls within state guidelines for distance away from town center (so decrepit Central Station could be closed):
1) Slobody property behind South Town Commons, Pomeroy Village South Amherst
2) Town owned South Amherst Alternative High School, South East StreetThus this coming Town Meeting will be critical in setting the stage for all four building projects which, all told, will cost over $100 million in town funding and should last a minimum of fifty years.
And Town Meeting will be under a microscope as the Charter Commission could propose a new Mayor/Council government, abandoning the 258 year old institution.