Sacred Heart School Draws Two Proposals
Affordable housing, special needs community with Sharon recreation complex eyed.
The former Sacred Heart School might become affordable housing or a special needs community for 64 adults, and a town pool and recreation complex.
Two nonprofit groups responded to Sharon's request for redevelopment proposals for the two former boys school sites, totaling about five acres on East Foxboro and Cedar streets, Sacred Heart Reuse Committee Chairman John Davis said. The deadline was Oct. 19.
Both proponents, B'nai Brith Housing New England Inc. and Cornerstone Community Inc., previously met with the reuse committee, Davis said.
The committee now will review the projects and then report to the board of selectmen, he said.
"Ideally, we'll do this fairly quickly," Davis said.
"Whether one or two of these are viable, we don't know as of yet, but that's what we're going to look into."
Cornerstone proposes leasing the site for an "interfaith life-educational community" for about 64 adults, "primarily with autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities," the group's proposal states.
Cornerstone also would build and manage a pool and a recreational complex for Sharon and Cornerstone residents.
"It is not the goal of Cornerstone to provide Sharon with a pool in exchange for the land on which to build a residential facility," the proposal states.
"We have a bigger objective: to integrate Cornerstone residents into the broader community as part of a spectacular recreational hub that includes the entire Sacred Heart site, as well as the Deb Sampson fields."
Cornerstone would rehabilitate the skating pond as a winter recreational center, and possibly enclose the tennis courts in a bubble.
The recreation complex would draw 1,500 to 2,000 members, Cornerstone wrote.
Meanwhile, B'nai Brith proposes building about a 64-unit affordable housing complex for seniors and older adults, according to the letter of continuing interest it filed.
The complex would have one- and two-bedroom apartments, with a library and fitness area.
B'nai Brith would demolish the former school and preserve most of the current recreation and parking areas.
Although B'nai Brith would be "very interested" in having a pool in its project, the nonprofit said doing so would be "very difficult" without affecting the parking and open space plans.
In that case, B'nai Brith said it would be willing to explore other options with Sharon.