After 54 hours of intense work, teams pitch to a panel of judges from the most innovative and impactful companies in the Berkshires and from Techstars. Business leaders and mentors are on hand to share insights and experience through the entire weekend.
“I feel like I would like more of guarantee that you can actually move forward with financing it. It doesn’t give me a lot of feeling that this could happen.”
— Great Barrington Selectboard member Leigh Davis
The plan, the only one the town has so far received after several requests for proposals, calls for an adaptive reuse of the vacant 110-year-old school on Pleasant Street in the center of the village of Housatonic.
The primary order of business for Conner and Nappo was to get the selectboard to write a letter of endorsement for Grayhouse’s application for $75,000 on an emergency basis from the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Preservation Projects Fund.
Grayhouse principal Bill Nappo and his financial consultant, Gillette Conner, updated the selectboard Monday night on the progress of the project. They said they are working closely with MassDevelopment on securing financing.
A four-page memorandum outlines a timetable for accomplishing specific goals during a one-year period of due diligence in advance of the redevelopment of the abandoned school in the center of the village of Housatonic.
Selectman Ed Abrahams said he does like the idea of a public-private partnership because, even if it means the town still owns the building, at least the town would retain some control over its future.
“Families are frightened, scared and beaten down. What the staff and I do is give them the strength to go to the other organizations, to get through this and get past this.”
— Michelle Derr, CHP director of WIC [Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program] Family Services