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: White House/Old Town Office  ( 3981 )
Rachelle LeVau
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« : March 15, 2014, 07:34:14 PM »

Hello, Fairfax Neighbors.

In this post, I'd like to discuss your questions and comments about the future of the White House/Old Town Office on the corner of the school property. First, I've seen posts about selling or renting the house to a resident in need of a home. I can tell you that renting would require costly renovations to bring the house up to code suitable for renting. Also, as a school, we do not wish to start in the property rental business. To sell the property would require subdividing it from the remainder of the school property. Either of these tasks requires locating every Bellows decedent for permission. The Bellows family has spread their wings somewhat over the past century and are not all easily located.

I had to pause reading some of the comments about preserving the history. When watching/reading about artifacts from only 50 years ago, I would often stop and wonder why so many have been destroyed. I don't want this to happen to a structure that has such rich history in our town and school. I have been considering ideas for preserving the history of the building in some way before any permanent decisions take away that option. I will be in touch with our arts departments to consider a photographic essay that would help in historical preservation. I'd also like to flesh out ideas to preserve a physical piece of the structure in an art work or other display alongside the photographic essay. I think it is possible to compile a journal of memories and public records to keep together with the same display.

Please keep the comments and ideas coming. I think we are all looking for the same things, low school budget and preservation of our past.

Sincerely,
Rachelle LeVau
Norton
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« #1 : March 18, 2014, 06:44:29 AM »


Reading this post, I can't help but get the impression that the decision has already been made by a small group behind closed doors.

Hello, Fairfax Neighbors.

In this post, I'd like to discuss your questions and comments about the future of the White House/Old Town Office on the corner of the school property. First, I've seen posts about selling or renting the house to a resident in need of a home. I can tell you that renting would require costly renovations to bring the house up to code suitable for renting. Also, as a school, we do not wish to start in the property rental business. To sell the property would require subdividing it from the remainder of the school property. Either of these tasks requires locating every Bellows decedent for permission. The Bellows family has spread their wings somewhat over the past century and are not all easily located.

I had to pause reading some of the comments about preserving the history. When watching/reading about artifacts from only 50 years ago, I would often stop and wonder why so many have been destroyed. I don't want this to happen to a structure that has such rich history in our town and school. I have been considering ideas for preserving the history of the building in some way before any permanent decisions take away that option. I will be in touch with our arts departments to consider a photographic essay that would help in historical preservation. I'd also like to flesh out ideas to preserve a physical piece of the structure in an art work or other display alongside the photographic essay. I think it is possible to compile a journal of memories and public records to keep together with the same display.

Please keep the comments and ideas coming. I think we are all looking for the same things, low school budget and preservation of our past.

Sincerely,
Rachelle LeVau

Has anyone looked in detail at the “costly renovations”, or is this an assumption?

What about going back to the original purpose of the house (housing for a faculty member)?  The property has value as a residence for someone.  One of the faculty (it wouldn’t necessarily need to be the principal) would likely accept a lower salary in exchange for living there.  The school would retain ownership and control, no subdivision needed.

Has anyone asked the Bellows family what their views are?  You may not know where they are, but I bet they do.

The second paragraph is very discouraging.  It starts with a lament about the loss of history and concludes that maybe someone should take some pictures before we knock the thing down.
mkr
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« #2 : March 18, 2014, 08:57:13 AM »

Rachelle, First I would like to thank you for the information and also fielding the comments and questions!

I like the photo history as well as keeping parts of the building for historical preservation.  I am aware it was going to take a lot of money to get the white house up to code for it to be used for any kind of use when looked at before the town decided to build a new office instead.  With the school budget already being asked to be reduced; I do not see this being favorable to be added into the budget.

My only thought on the building being a school property, is there any possibly grants that could be applied for to possible be able to get it back up to code and use it for additional space for the school.




"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
tfence
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« #3 : March 18, 2014, 09:01:25 AM »

Can it be given back to the Bellows and they can sell it? With the option of moving and restoring it. Food for thought.

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Norton
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« #4 : March 18, 2014, 09:22:32 AM »

I am aware it was going to take a lot of money to get the white house up to code for it to be used for any kind of use when looked at before the town decided to build a new office instead. 

The code requirements for a residence are very different than the code requirements for a public space.  Just because it wasn't reasonable to bring it up to the requirements for a town office doesn't mean that it wouldn't be worth it to use it as a residence.

Maybe somebody has looked into this in detail.  Does anyone know?
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