Archive for ◊ December, 2011 ◊

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• Thursday, December 29th, 2011
December 29, 2011 10:51 AM

By JANE LOPES

Editor

MIDDLEBORO — After several failed attempts — one of which resulted in an unauthorized demolition — the selectmen will try again to find someone to redevelop the former Washburn Grain Mill property.

The historic Center Street site, which once contained the 1899 National Register grain mill building as well as the 19th-century freight house that is still standing, is the subject of a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the town this month. Prospective developers have until March 2 to submit proposals that meet criteria set by the selectmen, including some preference to be given to proposals that call for the restoration and reuse of the freight house.

A walk-through of the site and building is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan, 26. Questions regarding the RFP and walk-through must be submitted to the town manager’s office at the Town Hall by Feb. 9.

The town took possession of the approximately 2.6-acre property from the Washburn family in 1998 for non-payment of about $120,000 in back taxes and has been trying to find an appropriate reuse ever since.

A number of proposals have been presented over the years, and in 2003 the selectmen agreed to turn over the site and buildings to Daniel Costello of Costello Dismantling. Mr. Costello told local officials he planned to use the property for his salvage business.

He was authorized by the Historical Commission to demolish a portion of the grain mill building but wound up taking down the entire structure. The property was ultimately retained by the town.

The Historical Commission, which met with Town Manager Charles Cristello in the fall, expressed support for a clause in the new RFP that would give “extra credit” to proposals calling for the preservation of the freight house. The two-story, 156-by 35-foot building has suffered some damage from a roof leak over the years. Environmental and structural studies were commissioned by the town in 1999.

Other criteria that will be considered by the selectmen include the economic viability of proposals and the impact a proposed project would have on the economic vitality of the Everett Square area. Local officials have long considered the grain mill property to be a potential catalyst for the revitalization of the area.

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• Thursday, December 15th, 2011
December 15, 2011 11:31 AM

MIDDLEBORO — Middleborough on the Move has added the 2011 edition to its collector’s series of holiday ornaments depicting historic downtown buildings. The latest features Sacred Heart Church.

Rev. Richard P. Crowley, pastor, writes of the church: “Before 1870 Catholics traveled to Bridgewater and Taunton for Mass. In 1870 Masses were held monthly in the small hall over the general store of Colonel Peter H. Pierce (now the police station) where the worshipers sat upon boxes and crates and prayed for a Catholic Church in Middleborough. Permission for this was given in 1873, but difficulty in obtaining enough money to build postponed the actual building for seven years.

“On July 12, 1881, Archbishop John J. Williams blessed the cornerstone and dedicated the small, humble but attractive wooden building named the Sacred Heart Church on the site of the current parish rectory.

“The beautiful, red brick English style Gothic church of today was constructed in 1917 — 1918. On June 9, 1918 William Cardinal O’Connell blessed the cornerstone and dedicated the church. In the Fall of 2005 the faith community at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Rochester became part of Sacred Heart Parish, which now encompasses 107 square miles.’

The ornaments are available for $19.95 each at the Sacred Heart Church, at both Eastern Bank branches, Maria’s Card Shop, The Custom Decorator, Michelle’s Hair, Etc. and the Gregory Scot Jewelry store in downtown Middleboro.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111215/PUB04/112150402

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• Thursday, December 15th, 2011

December 15, 2011 11:31 AM

MIDDLEBORO —It is no secret that a major public education agenda item at the state level is to promote readiness of high school graduates for success in college and careers. The agenda incorporates strategies that are being implemented at the elementary and secondary school level, the higher education level and, quite often, jointly by both sectors.
Eastern Bank, Massasoit Community College and Middleboro High School recently created a program that provides support so that Middleboro High School students can reach their goals.
“In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to work together to provide students with these opportunities,” said John Wainwright, branch manager, Eastern Bank Middleboro, during a meeting of the three organizations on Monday morning.
The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation donated $10,000 for this initiative.
Massasoit’s Dean of Academic Advising, Assessment, and K-12 Outreach Peter Johnston is working closely with the high school staff. “We have been able to work with staff and faculty in the school to find out what their needs are and to customize a program that serves the most students,” he stated. “These targeted grants [such as Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation's] help us build relationships with our partner schools that go far beyond the specific grant-funded activities.”
Recently, as part of a professional day for MHS faculty and staff, a group of 13 faculty and staff members from Massasoit convened a series of conversations about what it means to be “college ready.” They started with small group discussions across disciplines in which high school and college faculty identified characteristics of “college ready” students and came up with definitions of “college readiness.” The day ended with a discussion on specific strategies for promoting “college readiness.”
“This mutual effort reflects the larger statewide and national focus on ‘college readiness’,” stated Dr. Charles Wall, president of Massasoit Community College. “We are helping students become ‘college ready’ and prepare to meet their educational goals whether or not they ultimately attend Massasoit.”
One of the primary strategies for promoting college readiness is early Accuplacer college placement testing.
“The grant provided by Eastern Bank was also used to purchase Accuplacer licenses for the high school, and they have already tested the vast majority of their 11th graders,” Dean Johnston added.
The Accuplacer is not used just at Massasoit Community College; it is the common placement exam throughout the Commonwealth. In the spring, a section of Massasoit’s College Experience class will be offered at the high school, during the day. Students will receive both high school and college credit for the course. The course and course materials will be covered by the grant and free to students.
There are several other opportunities which will be offered through the support of Eastern Bank, such as on-the-spot admissions and financial aid workshops, reduced cost dual enrollment, and some scholarship awards.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111215/PUB04/112150401

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• Friday, December 09th, 2011
December 08, 2011 12:00 AM

MIDDLEBORO — Middleborough on the Move has added the 2011 edition to its collector’s series of holiday ornaments depicting historic downtown buildings.

Rev. Richard P Crowley, pastor, writes of the church: “Before 1870 Catholics traveled to Bridgewarter and Taunton for Mass. In 1870 Masses were held monthly in the small hall over the general store of Colonel Peter H. Pierce (now the police station) where the worshipers sat upon boxes and crates and prayed for a Catholic Church in Middleborough. Permission for this was given in 1873, but difficulty in obtaining enough money to build postponed the actual building for seven years.

“On July 12, 1881, Archbishop John J. Williams blessed the cornerstone and dedicated the small, humble but attractive wooden building named the Sacred Heart Church on the site of the current parish rectory.

“The beautiful, red brick English style Gothic church of today was constructed in 1917 — 1918. On June 9, 1918 William Cardinal O’Connell blessed the cornerstone and dedicated the church.

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