Easthampton’s Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously to commit $3,000,000 towards the construction of an accessible entryway, elevator and restoration of the 2nd floor of Easthampton’s Old Town Hall. The commitment requires a match for the nearly $6,000,000 project that will make the building’s 2nd floor ADA compliant for use as a flexible performing arts and community space. The city-owned historic building is managed by CitySpace, a nonprofit that expects to match the CPA funds from diverse sources including historic tax credits, grants and corporate and individual gifts.

CitySpace vice-president Marcia Morrison says, “The improvements are not just for the 2nd floor but also the protection of the building. The unanimous vote is a testament to the dedication our city has to invest in the history of Old Town Hall, protect the unique character of our Main Street Historic District and dedicate resources to arts and culture that will further enliven Easthampton as a destination.”

Letter of Commitment CPA by CitySpace on Scribd

Last November, following the completion of cost estimates and a public presentation of the project by CitySpace and Aelan Tierney of Kuhn Riddle Architects, the CPA discussed the funding options available to the committee to support the project. According to the Community Preservation Coalition, since 2015, over 79 communities have issued bonds for 182 different CPA projects. Ultimately, the CPA committee decided to bond the project as the commitment letter states, with bonding specifics to be determined. CPA board member Ryan Barry said at the CPA meeting on November 15, “No matter how you slice it, this will be a big part of the CPA budget for years to come. But it is worth it.”

About the CPA

The CPA helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities. Easthampton adopted the Community Preservation Act in 2001. It creates a 3% tax surcharge which generates revenue for projects addressing open space, affordable housing, historic preservation and recreation. In turn the CPA statute creates a statewide trust fund, which distributes funds each year to communities that have approved the CPA. Numerous projects have benefited from CPA funding in Easthampton since 2001, such as the Boardwalk and Promenade Park on Nashawannuck Pond, Manhan Rail Trail improvements, the Nashawannuck Pond dredging, open space acquisition at Echodale Farm and Nonotuck Park Athletic Fields.

“We understand the gravity and scope of this funding and CitySpace is incredibly appreciative of the CPA’s commitment to making this historic building fully functioning and accessible to all. As Easthampton evolves and continues to grow, we are committed to fostering affordable space for the arts and our community as well as maintaining this magnificent building. With this promise from the CPA, we are halfway there and we are optimistic that together we can make this happen,” says Burns Maxey, president of CitySpace.  

For more information on the project costs, documents and plans for funding and renovation see cityspaceeasthampton.org/transformation.