The group looking to turn the old Hoxie school into the Hoxie Center at Sagamore Beach for Art, Science, Education and Culture took another step forward in its plans. The Bourne Board of Selectmen on the night of Tuesday, June 9, signed a historic restriction on the century-old building. The historic restriction was a requisite of the group’s use of Community Preservation Act funding approved by town residents, as well as the purchase and sale agreement on the building between the town and the Hoxie group.
The town sold the former Eleanor F. Hoxie Elementary School to the Hoxie group for one dollar. However, the purchase and sale agreement was predicated on a list of contingencies, including the historic restriction and a reverter clause. That latter clause states the conditions under which ownership of the property would revert back to the town.
Residents at Annual Town Meeting in May 2014 approved $250,000 in CPA funds as seed money for the Hoxie group’s project. With the money in place, the group was able to apply for and subsequently received grants from a number of different sources, including the Cape Cod Five Cents Saving Bank Charitable Foundation, the Cape Cod Foundation, and the Edward Bangs and Elza Kelley Foundation in South Yarmouth.
While grant money to pay for necessary renovations to the aged building had been secured, renovation was on hold until the Massachusetts Historical Commission approved the historic restriction. The restriction requires that any changes made to the building must be reviewed by the state, so the historic character of the area is not threatened.
Jonathan R. Nelson, the town’s director of public works and facilities said that the preservation restriction presented to the selectmen was “the 10th or 12th reiteration of it.” He said the document went through multiple drafts that went back and forth between the Massachusetts Historic Commission, the town and the Hoxie group.
“The version you see in front of you has been approved by all parties,” he said.
Selectmen voted unanimously to sign and approve the historic restriction. Allyson Bizer-Knox, executive director of the Hoxie Center, extended her appreciation to the town for its assistance in helping her group get their vision underway.
“I just want to express my gratitude for all you guys helping us. Thank you very much,” Ms. Knox said.
Bourne town administrator Thomas M. Guerino said that town counsel Robert S. Troy will have a deed to the building drafted and ready for signing at the selectmen’s next meeting on Tuesday, June 23.