Houston Barn Study Committee

Working Group Established by the Select Board
PURPOSE:
  • A study committee is necessary to prepare a report evaluation all considerations relative to the future of the Houston Barn located on Houston Drive.

  • The report will be given to the Select Board for review and action in time for presentation and determination at the 2022 Town Meeting.

  • The report should include:

    1. Provide a history of the barn.  Assess the historical value that the structure has for Hopkinton and the State.

    2. Provide cost estimates to stabilize the structure for its current uses and a long-term capital investment plan for that level use.

    3. Identify alternatives space for the Buildings and Grounds operations that currently function out of the ground level if that space is no longer available.  This space currently provides storage for equipment, supplies, and an operations center for seasonal field work and Town property maintenance from April through October.  This space may require new construction.  Costs for this construction need to be developed.

    4. Identify alternative space for the storage of the current users on the first floor if that space is no longer available.  This space could be in a new building, incorporated in the new Buildings and Grounds building, or space in another existing building.

    5. Provide cost estimates to bring the barn to specifications that would allow assembly of people inside.  Use as a "three season" facilty would require significant structural upgrades beyond those needed to maintain the current uses.  And, even more investment would be required if the barn were to be used for year round occupancy.

    6. Provide costs to install a fire suppression system for the barn.  If the current barn, which has no fire suppression, catches on fire, both the library and the Slusser Center are at great risk.

    7. Provide costs for dismantling and removing the barn.

    8. Suggest funding sources, and at the request of the Select Board, carry out fundraising.

    9. Recommend a phased approach to accomplish the mission.

Committee Members:  Louise Carr-Chair, Dave Feller, Pete Holmes, Don Houston, Celina Hurley, Jason LaCombe, Justin Perkins, Lee Wilder, and Ben Wilson