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Former Foxborough State Hospital Auditorium Could be Sold for Revenue

Property would require special legislation from the state to sell.

Looking to improve Foxborough’s revenue stream, the town’s Asset Review Committee presented to selectmen five parcels that if sold would generate the town at least $1.68 million.

However, it is unclear if one of those properties – the old Camp Lincoln Hill property on Oak Street - can be sold because it is and is said to have been purchased by the town with the purpose of open space and recreation.

Because of this, the town’s Conservation Commission has said it opposes the sale of this land.

In addition to those five parcels is another one the Asset Review Committee has targeted for potential sale – the former Foxborough State Hospital auditorium on Payson Road.

“We would have to go for special legislation to request approval to sell this property,” said Town Asset Review Committee chair Lorraine Brue, who also serves as a selectman. “Again, within our group, the discussion is such that there would be definite interest by a developer for that property so we did want to pursue that.”

The property is currently conditioned by the state for recreational use only and would take special legislation to change that stipulation.

The town’s planning board and board of recreation have had discussions about the cost of rehabilitating the auditorium for recreational use but that option "would cost an extensive amount of money," according to planning board members.

In August, Foxborough Patch asked readers what they would like to see replace the former auditorium and the two most popular responses were a children’s museum or a new Town Hall.

However, resident Pat Heydecker said she and her husband, Dick, studied the building “thoroughly” for use as a town hall and did not find the space to be a fit.

“There is no way that we can use it for that type of purpose,” Heydecker said. “Too much wasted space and not coherent functions.”

Town Manager Kevin Paicos said an auction for the Payson Road property would likely be separate from the auction of the other properties because the former auditorium will take special legislation and a Town Meeting vote to sell.

To read more about the properties recommended for sale, click here.

Chris A February 06, 2013 at 05:51 PM
"Did not find the space to be a fit." Does this include the children’s museum idea? I guess I understand the town hall not being a fit (seems like they could just add on if space was an issue)...but what's the issue with a children's museum? I'm still not hearing a lot of outside-the-box thinking on why so-and-so idea couldn't work.
Jeremie Smith (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Hi Chris, the Heydeckers found the auditorium space not to be a fit for a Town Hall. Children's museum is a great idea and should be suggested to town officials. Thanks for the comment!

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