Contact: Lindsi Mailer
Jeff Bagg, City Planner
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL REUSE RFP
Easthampton, MA – On September 21, 2022, the Easthampton City Council voted unanimously to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop the city’s three vacant elementary schools: Center, Pepin, and Maple. The City expects the RFP to be officially available on/about October 12, 2022. Anyone interested in viewing the final draft of the RFP, associated materials, and videos of meetings can access that information here or from the Planning Department webpage under current projects. The Elementary School Reuse Committee developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions attached to this release.
The RFP - and all its associated materials - result from more than four years of community input, technical planning efforts, and concerted efforts to allow for the most successful reuse of these important City properties. Easthampton is mandated to issue an RFP as the way to ask potential parties to submit proposals to redevelop the property.
The RFP's primary goal supports the creation of affordable housing in one or all of the buildings. The second goal is for community benefits such as public parking, playgrounds, and the preservation of community spaces identified throughout the RFP. The evaluation criteria include affordable housing, possible Pepin Gym, cafeteria/auditorium retention, community connections, such as public parking and playgrounds, responsive design, environmental sustainability, number of sites included, retention of buildings, new construction, site control, experience, financial status, pro formas, and interview.
“The process to bring developers willing to invest millions of dollars into Easthampton requires financial and other support from the City. We as a community must understand we are asking developers to take these buildings on and accomplish our goals. The City’s best outcome is the residents’ primary goal - affordable housing”, said Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.
Developer proposals are expected to be submitted in mid-January of 2023. Tentatively, City Council will approve a preferred developer in April of 2023. If approved, the project advances into permitting and financing, with the earliest construction not expected to occur until 2024 or 2025.