The old Notre Dame will be turned into modern apartments.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Notre Dame School at the corner of Melville and First streets is on pace to be an 11-unit apartment complex by fall.
The Community Development Board approved a special permit Tuesday for Scarafoni Associates to transform the classrooms on the top two floors into rental units.
"We hope to start work at the end of March," owner David Carver said. "We hope to have these ready for the market in the fall."
The plan is to demolish a home at the corner of First Street to make it a yard, eliminate a curb cut to the property there and widen the entrance on the Melville Street side.
A contractor is already lined up for the demolition is expected to begin in the next two weeks.
From there the top two floors will be converted to "nice, modern" apartments that retain some of the key features of the old school. The apartments will retain the 12-foot high ceiling to have a "loft-type feel," Carver said.
"We are proposing to do 11 total units. We'll have nine one-bedroom and two two-bedroom units," said Robert McIntosh of Bradley Architects Inc., who presented the plans to the board.
Because the rooms are open space now and the building's frame is still good, the work shouldn't take long, Carver said.
Scarafoni Associates purchased the property in December from Sam Kasten, who operates a weaving business there. Kasten will continue to occupy the bottom floor.
"His business has changed and he doesn't need all of the space. He is going to scale back his operation," Carver said.
Overall, Carver estimates more than $1 million will be put into the project. The plan is supported by Ward 2 City Councilor Kevin Morandi.
"I feel this would be a great addition to the neighborhood," Morandi said, adding that the location is perfect for housing because of its proximity to the Common, downtown and the Morningside neighborhood.
Now with the special permit, Carver just needs McIntosh to finish design work and file for building permits before construction can begin.