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Colrain’s Memorial Hall set to be demolished

Recorder file photo
Colrain's long- vacant Veterans Memorial Hall will be razed now that the town has accepted a demolition bid.

Recorder file photo Colrain's long- vacant Veterans Memorial Hall will be razed now that the town has accepted a demolition bid.

COLRAIN — The 1895-built Veterans Memorial Hall will become just a memory, now that the long-vacant, deteriorating structure is scheduled for demolition.

On Monday, Selectmen accepted a demolition bid from Bourgeois Wrecking Inc., the lowest bidder, and the same company that demolished three condemned buildings in the town center last year. According to Town Coordinator Kevin Fox, this bid was for $46,760. The money will be paid from repayments of a 1986 Community Development Block Grant for housing rehabilitation.

“Demolition will probably start late next week,” said Fox. He said asbetos removal in the building has already begun.

The Veterans Memorial Hall was built to commemorate Civil War veterans and to provide upstairs meeting spaces for the Civil War veterans, the Women’s Relief Corps and the Sons of Veterans. The downstairs stage and auditorium provided a setting for dances and theater productions, for eighth-grade graduation ceremonies and community suppers, basketball games and other special events.

It had moveable seating for about 300 people. After the veterans’groups stopped using it, the building was used by the Boy Scouts for awhile, before it was turned over to the town.

In 2009, town meeting voters agreed to put the building up for sale, for at least $125,000, but there weren’t any offers. The asking price was later dropped to $10,000.

Earlier this spring, annual town meeting voters approved spending up to $60,000 for the building’s demolition.

Selectmen’s Chairwoman Eileen Savageau said the building does not have a working septic system, no parking place and no handicapped accessibility. It also has a leaking roof and needs foundation work.

She said it’s been in disrepair for many years, and no one has expressed interest in fixing it or using it.

“If the town wants to save Memorial Hall, they will,” Savageau told The Recorder earlier this summer. “If it’s important to the town, I’m all for it. But that hasn’t been the case.”

Doors, stage backdrops and other items of possible historic interest have also been removed from the building by the Historical Commission to be saved.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

The towns people simply don't care. The fact that diversity rather than history is taught in classrooms has finally caught up. Expect more of the same as history is re-written and America's glorious past forgotten.

How sad that this lovely historical building is being razed to dust due to neglect. Another piece of history gone forever.

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