Dedham school slated for arts space

December 11, 2011 by  

A committee struck to re-purpose the soon-to-be-vacant Avery School is considering establishing it as an arts space.

Committee member Paul Reynolds called the school, which also acts as a community center, a “leading candidate” for the place local arts can call home.

“I think this is a concept that best reflects what the community thinks is desirable,” Reynolds said in an interview last November. Community leaders involved with the re-purposing committee said the building is not suitable for either police or fire facilities and the Council on Aging were not interested in establishing a senior’s center in the school.

Reynolds said that Dedham arts organizations such as the Fiddlehead Theater Company, the Dedham School of Music, Mother Brook Community Group and Dedham Square Artist Guild would form a coalition to become involved in the redevelopment of the building or would have option to lease the space. A facility such as this would further develop the talents of local graphic designers and freelance artists, which are heavily utilized by Dedham print companies particularly with brochure printing.

“This is going to require a lot of people pitching in and locking arms to make this happen,” Reynolds said, noting that the Avery School will become vacant in April.

A similar arrangement in nearby Milton with local art groups who eventually set up in the Emerson Umbrella space took a year to get off the ground. Reynolds said he hopes the proposal, which may include a multi-generational recreation area, will be approved by May 2012.