“Now we know what kind of money we have, so now we know what kind of study they can do for us,” Sherrill said. “As part of that study we’re going to ask them to put together some kind of path for us to go down as far as what we need to do next as a group in order to ensure success.”
Should the study come back with favorable results, Sherrill said the next step after that would be to bring together a team of local contractors, finance people, architects, engineers and others who have experience doing build-up projects that could help get the project off the ground.
Then, the big challenge would be to raise the money needed to actually rehabilitate the building through state and private funds. Sherrill said it’s too early to tell how much it would cost to do that, but estimated that it would be at least $1.5 million.
Sherrill said that ideally the time frame of the project would follow the city’s plans to redevelop the Lower Millyard and construct the new Heritage Park. Even if the recent setback caused by the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision not to award Amesbury a $400,000 grant delays the park’s construction, Sherrill said the DPW’s impending move to South Hunt Road would still clear the way for the project to move forward regardless of the park’s status.
Under a best-case scenario, the new carriage museum will be complete by 2016, he said.
The Alliance was among many entities across the state that received a total of $5.2 million in grants; and while the grants must be matched with private or public funds, Sherrill indicated that the Alliance had already raised the funds needed to meet that requirement through private donations and fundraising events over the past few months.