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Historic home issue persists

Town, state commission at odds over school site

November 11, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — State and local officials are trying to resolve a nagging issue — whether the town has received required approvals from the state historical commission regarding the new high/middle school.

Despite the town's repeated insistence it has received all necessary approvals, the Massachusetts Historical Commission has again told the town it must undergo the agency's review process to assure the school's construction won't damage nearby historical homes. MHC spokesman Brian McNiff last month said the town had never been through the process.

"They still have to do the MHC review," McNiff said Wednesday, Nov. 10. "The obvious next step is that the parties meet and work it out."

School Building Committee Chairman Scott Lazo repeated this week that the town had already been through the process. Town Manager Christopher Clark confirmed Lazo's comments last month, when Lazo had originally made them.

Also, the Massachusetts School Building Authority has responded to the MHC's request to halt construction on the project in order to undergo the review process.

"The [MSBA] is not a direct party to the design and construction contracts for this project which are actually held by the town," MSBA Deputy General Counsel George Driscoll wrote in a Monday, Nov. 8 letter to the MHC.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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