Gales School redevelopment in Belmont gets federal funding help 

The Gale School was  moved to its  new permanent location off of Concord Street in Belmont, seen here on  Aug. 18, 2020. The project to transform it into a community center was delayed by the pandemic and rising construction costs.

The Gale School was moved to its new permanent location off of Concord Street in Belmont, seen here on Aug. 18, 2020. The project to transform it into a community center was delayed by the pandemic and rising construction costs. Monitor file

The abandoned Gale School in back of the Belmont Middle School off of School Street. The school was built in 1894.

The abandoned Gale School in back of the Belmont Middle School off of School Street. The school was built in 1894. GEOFF FORESTER

The newly-moved Gale School at the new permanent area it occupies off of Concord Street in Belmont on Monday, August 18, 2020.

The newly-moved Gale School at the new permanent area it occupies off of Concord Street in Belmont on Monday, August 18, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

The Gale School has been lifted off its original foundation and is now ready to be moved on July 21st and 22nd to its new location in Belmont.

The Gale School has been lifted off its original foundation and is now ready to be moved on July 21st and 22nd to its new location in Belmont. GEOFF FORESTER

The Gale School has been lifted off its original foundation and is now ready to be moved on July 21st and 22nd using the road to the right which was cleared for the move.

The Gale School has been lifted off its original foundation and is now ready to be moved on July 21st and 22nd using the road to the right which was cleared for the move. GEOFF FORESTER

The old Gale School building, located behind Belmont Middle School in Belmont, is seen on Friday, Mar. 16, 2018. Earlier in the week, Shaker Regional School District voters decided to allow the district to sell the historic structure to the Save Our Gale School Committee. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

The old Gale School building, located behind Belmont Middle School in Belmont, is seen on Friday, Mar. 16, 2018. Earlier in the week, Shaker Regional School District voters decided to allow the district to sell the historic structure to the Save Our Gale School Committee. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Monitor file

Monitor file Monitor file

Woody Fogg stands in the attic of the old Gale School building, located behind Belmont Middle School in Belmont, on Friday, Mar. 16, 2018. Earlier in the week, Shaker Regional School District voters decided to allow the district to sell the historic structure to the Save Our Gale School Committee. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

Woody Fogg stands in the attic of the old Gale School building, located behind Belmont Middle School in Belmont, on Friday, Mar. 16, 2018. Earlier in the week, Shaker Regional School District voters decided to allow the district to sell the historic structure to the Save Our Gale School Committee. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

The abandoned Gale School in back of the Belmont Middle School off of School Street. The school was built in 1894.

The abandoned Gale School in back of the Belmont Middle School off of School Street. The school was built in 1894. GEOFF FORESTER

By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 10-13-2023 5:34 PM

The long-running effort to turn the old Gale School into a vibrant community center, delayed by cost increases, has received federal support.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development fund recently directed $391,000 to the project in response to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s direction. It also obligated a $200,000 Community Facilities Loan for the project.

Lakes Region Community Developers wants to transform the dilapidated Gale School in Belmont into a childcare center operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Central NH and a program center operated by Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS).

“Once completed, this new facility will help alleviate the childcare accessibility challenges facing the surrounding community,” Shaheen said in a statement.

“This funding is a big boost at a critical time,” said Carmen Lorentz, LRCD Executive Director.

The Gale School was built in 1894 and was used by the Belmont school district until the mid-1980s. The building has been mostly vacant since then, and years of neglect have taken their toll. It was moved in 2020 to 60 Concord St. in Belmont Village to save it from demolition and fund-raising has continued since then.

To date, officials said, the partners have raised $2.57 million. Once all the funding for the renovations is assembled, the organization hopes construction will get underway in 2024.

For more information see www.LRcommunitydevelopers.org.

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