PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former St. Joseph Central School is on the market.
Colebrook Realty Services has listed the Maplewood Avenue property for sale or for lease. Diocese of Springfield spokesman Mark DuPont said the Roman Catholic Diocese is willing to listen to all types of offers for the entire property, pieces, or a lease agreement.
"We try to give ourselves a lot of room to maneuver and get the best possible return," DuPont said. "We're open to all offers."
Colebrook has listed the school for sale at $2 million or is willing to lease at $6 per square foot. The former 44,650 square-foot high school is on slightly more than an acre of land in downtown Pittsfield. It contains offices, classrooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria, locker rooms and a full kitchen. It also features a dozen or so parking spaces.
"We had a few very soft interests but that never came to fruition," DuPont said.
The 120-year-old high school was closed last spring. It was opened in 1897 as St. Joseph's Academy but over time enrollment dropped significantly. Eventually, the diocese could not financially support it.
But several of the church's properties in the area have faced a similar situation over the years. Pittsfield particularly has been successful in finding developers for the properties.
"The money from all of these church sales stayed with the Pittsfield Catholic Community," DuPont noted.
St. Mark's School was closed in 2015 and Hillcrest Educational redeveloped the site. The St. Mary the Morningstar property was recently sold to CT Management, which has plans to transform the structures into market-rate housing — just as it did with the former Notre Dame School and the former Holy Family Church.
"Other than St. Joe, all of the properties have been sold," DuPont said."We've been generally pleased with our real estate consultants."
St. Theresa, on South Street, was the most recent church to be demolished, and that lot is the site of the current Berkshire Place. But, that is an outlier. Nearly all of the former church properties were redeveloped in ways preserving the historic integrity of the buildings.
The St. Joe property is particularly notable because it anchors one end of North Street's main drag. Over the last decade, North Street has undergone a massive renovation as officials focused attention on revamping downtown.
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