Williston Northampton School’s plans to raze house on Historical Commission docket

  • Williston Northampton School is seeking to demolish this house at 2 Payson Lane in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN CROWLEY

Staff Writer
Published: 9/29/2020 3:30:15 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The Historical Commission will discuss on Wednesday the fate of a building that the Williston Northampton School is seeking to demolish.

The house, at 2 Payson Lane, was purchased by the private boarding and day school about two years ago for $250,000. It was built in approximately 1880 and is contiguous with the campus. It’s also across the street from faculty homes.

“We purchased it with the idea of renovating it,” said Ann Hallock, director of communications for Williston.

Hallock said that the goal was to renovate the home, which had been used as a two-family home, into a one-family home. However, she said that significant structural issues were found, which made renovation not a good use of time or money. According to Williston’s CFO, these included problems with the roof structure and main carrying beam.

“It would have required such significant repairs,” Hallock said.

The current plan is to demolish the house and create a grassy area, Hallock said, adding that there are no plans to build another structure at this time. The lot is 0.15 acres.

The Historical Commission had a hearing on the proposed demolition on Sept. 9, which was continued to Wednesday at 6 p.m. There was no public comment at the first meeting.

A site visit was also done on Sept. 14.

Michael Czerwiec, chair of the commission, declined to comment on the matter, but did say that the building hasn’t been inventoried for historical purposes, although its inventorying was under consideration.

He also said that the commission is exploring expanding the Main Street Historic District, and that the building possibly could be included in that expansion.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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