|Marian High site is listed for lease||October 20, 2018|
|Zane Razzaq 508-626-3919||Metrowest Daily News|
Framingham Superintendent of Schools Robert Tremblay said his office plans to "be proactive" and request a second tour of the former Marian High School site, although it's unlikely the property matches the district's needs.
FRAMINGHAM - Since it was listed as being available for lease, the Union Avenue site that housed the now-closed Marian High School has generated plenty of interest, according to its agent.
The 3.2-acre, 115,000-square-foot space includes an 850-seat auditorium, a gymnasium with bleachers, a large cafeteria, and commercial kitchen space. In an announcement, Southborough-based MetroWest Commercial Real Estate noted the waterfront property overlooking Learned Pond could be used for residential, medical or office condominiums, a hospital, a school or an assisted living facility. The real estate company touted the building as being near a commuter rail station, City Hall, the Framingham Public Library and MetroWest Medical Center.
Cheryl Tully Stoll, a sales associate at MetroWest Commercial Real Estate, said she could not comment on who has inquired about the property, but said there have been many questions.
"It's such a unique property," said Tully Stoll, who is also an at-large city councilor. "You've got a school with a gymnasium and an auditorium. The school itself is in tremendous shape, and it's on the water."
In April, the 62-year-old Catholic school announced it would close at the end of the academic year, citing declining enrollment. Marian High was founded in 1956 by Cardinal Richard Cushing, then archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, and guided by the Sisters of St. Joseph. At the time of its closing, the school had 221 students, more than 50 percent of whom were from Framingham.
Robert Tremblay, superintendent of Framingham Public Schools, said the school district plans to "be proactive" and request a second tour of the site, though it's unlikely the property matches the district's needs.
"Many in the community have asked if the space at the former Marian High School could help fill any infrastructure needs within the Framingham Public Schools," said Tremblay. "While we don't believe there is a near-term need for this amount of new space, nor a match at this particular site, as part of our ongoing facilities planning effort we are going to... explore all options for our school district."
Officials from the district first toured Marian High in May, after the school's closing was announced. They concluded that the building "would require millions - if not tens of millions - of dollars" of work to be ready for Framingham school use. However, the district decided to ask for another tour after learning the property was up for lease.
Tremblay also said the new Fuller Middle School could not be placed at the Marian High site. The city stands to receive an estimated $39.5 million from the Massachusetts School Building Authority to pay for a new state-of-the-art Fuller School. Any change in plans at this stage would mean the district cannot receive that money. Other drawbacks include limited parking and no access to playing fields.
It's also unlikely the district will need a second high school, despite rising enrollment at Framingham High School. Instead, city officials will examine strategic moves within the high school.
As far as as her own wishes for the site, Tully Stoll said she "hopes it continues to be a vibrant part of our community."
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