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The town has expects to re-issue a request for proposals for the former school building. There has been interest in building, particularly if the town was to adopt 40R.

Adams Suspends Memorial Building Request for Proposals

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Memorial Building is once again on the backburner after town officials terminated a request for proposals for the long vacant structure. But the deadline for bids on revamping Russell Field have been extended.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said the town has decided to terminate the proposal process for the Memorial Building redevelopment with the hopes of reissuing the RFP again in September.
"For me, the proposal process, although needing to be stopped because of COVID-19, was still encouraging and validated there is keen interest in the building's potential," Cesan said. 
She said the financial impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic have guided this decision and she noted that the current financial landscape is not the most welcoming for potential developers.
"Mostly, it is the uncertainty now and the expected difficulty in obtaining financing," she said.
Cesan said they also decided to hold off on the RFP until the town can hold a town meeting and potentially pass adopt the state's 40R law, which will create an overlay district to encourage density housing development and commercial activities.
"A couple of developers had asked that we delay until after town meeting because they were very interested in 40R and the favorable financial incentives the program would likely offer," she said. "At this juncture, we do not have a firm schedule on when proposed new bylaws, including 40R, will advance to town meeting."
The state instituted 40R to incentivize developers to utilize existing structures to create market-value housing along with a certain percentage of affordable and commercial space.
Cesan said developers did tour the building on March 5 and they saw potential.
"There were a lot of positive comments made about the good condition of the building, it's location within the town center, and within walking distance to everything, also it's location along the bus line and proximity to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail," she said. "Those participating in the site visit noted that the classrooms and broad hallways providing easy opportunities for reuse of the building as apartments."
Bids were originally due May 14.
As for Russell Field, bids were due Thursday but are now extended to May 28.
The town plans a substantial overhaul of the park that will include improved field conditions and amenities, improved drainage, and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.
Cesan indicated that this extension is also in response to difficulties caused by the pandemic. 

Tags: memorial building,   playing fields,   RFP,   

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Springfield Bishop Sets Guidelines for Reopening Churches

ADAMS, Mass. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is taking precautions in line with the state's reopening plan it begins to resume worship within its churches. 
The diocese's parishes were closed mid-March along with other defined "nonessential" operations as Massachusetts officials sought to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and "flatten the curve" of hospitalizations during the pandemic.
"I was pleased to learn that the opening of churches will be part of the first phase of the state's reopening measures," said Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski in a statement on Monday. "In recent days, we have asked parishes to begin planning for their reopening, taking into account limited capacity and social distancing, as well as cleaning procedures after every public use of the church. ...
"It is important that our churches must be in full compliance before we resume public Masses."
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