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Holy Angels Church Maybe Temporary Upton Town Hall

After hearing a number of parents voice strong concerns about Upton Town Hall staff relocating to Memorial School temporarily, town officials said they are now looking into other locations around the community for the move; one possible location is Holy Angels Church.

If residents at the May Annual Town Meeting approve the estimated $5 million funding for the project, Upton will begin the massive renovation of Town Hall in the summer. As a result, Town Hall staff will need to relocate their offices for approximately one year. However, in the wake of the Newtown Conn. shootings, parents voiced their objections about Memorial School as the new location.

Town Clerk Kelly McElreath, who is also the Chair of the Town Hall Renovation Committee, reported to the Board of Selectmen during a February 5 meeting that other locations are now being explored. "Rightly so, the parents are concerned with the move [to Memorial School]," she said.

However, the good news to report that evening was that the real estate agent representing Holy Angles Church was willing to discuss the now vacant space to be the temporary Town Hall location. In 2011, St. Michael's in Mendon merged with Holy Angels and formed the new St. Gabriel's Church in Upton. The Holy Angels building, located on Milford St., has been for sale since.

In addition to the Holy Angels site, Town Manager Blythe Robinson reported that she has been looking into temporary trailers to house staff. Possible locations for the trailers might include the playground area near Holy Angels. According to Robinson, the location has utilities available except for sewer. "We would have to incur costs to deal with the sewer," she told the Board. In addition, plenty of parking would be available. Another possible site included placing trailers on the lawn of the Fire Station. Selectmen Jim Brochu added that Blackstone Valley Tech. may have temporary classroom space available as well.

In an interview following the February 5 Board meeting, McElreath meet with the realtor representing Holy Angels to survey the site. "It went well," she said. "It was just a look around." In addition to McElreath, the project's construction manager and architect were also on hand surveying the Church's layout.

The next step is for the Town Hall Renovation Committee to meet and come up with a tentative funding estimate to present to the real estate agent and see if both sides can come to an agreement. It is hoped the Town Hall relocation site can be determined as soon as possible. The initial move date was scheduled for the week after school lets out, however, that could change depending on if a new site is located. Regardless of when it happens, employees have been preparing for the move over the last several months by packing and clearing out decades old information.




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