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December 13, 2012

Newburyport Y eyes Salisbury school for low-cost housing


The groups presenting last night include Salem’s North Shore Community Development Corporation and Harborlight Community Partners of Beverly, both of which have experience building affordable housing complexes elsewhere.

The two other letters were from joint ventures involving more familiar local groups. One was from Caruso McGovern Construction, which together with the Salisbury Housing Authority, suggested building 12 units of rental housing at Spalding. SHA currently owns and manages Beach Road’s Great Meadows complex, which provides affordable housing for income-qualified residents.

And Newburyport’s YWCA, along with L.D. Russo, presented the final option discussed last night. Depending on the mix of apartment sizes, this proposal could bring from 14 to 26 units to town, which would be prioritized for women.

Spalding School was rented for years by the Sparhawk High School, but has been vacant for more than a year after Sparhawk found another location. Located on Maple Street, the school building was constructed originally in 1915 as the Jacob F. Spalding School. In 1957, another structure, Memorial School, was added nearby and in 1962 the two buildings were connected with yet another building.

Always an elementary school, when Salisbury’s new school was completed, local children moved there, vacating the complex.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley found a home in the first floor of the Memorial School section of the complex, and recently the Greater Lawrence Educational Collaborative moved into the second floor at Memorial School, with a three-year lease.

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