This version provides an update about the landscaping and future ribbon-cutting ceremony.
WRENTHAM — Town Administrator Kevin Sweet is pleased to share that the Center School Lot will reopen to the public tomorrow.
Beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, community members will be welcomed to park in the lot and take advantage of its proximity to downtown Wrentham. Community members should note that overnight parking is not allowed in this lot.
Prior to its reopening, the Center School Lot was a dirt lot left after the former Center School was demolished in the 1970s. The dirt lot was rutted, had sections of old foundation sticking out and was an eyesore in the downtown area.
Beginning in 2022, the Office of Facilities & Central Services, along with the Town Administrator’s Office, began its efforts to renovate the existing lot into a modern, aesthetically pleasing lot in the center of Wrentham.
The renovation project, which took five months, includes two entrances/exits, landscaping upgrades, curbing, accessible sidewalks and the addition of 112 paved parking spots, including six accessible spots and accommodations for four future Electric Vehicle charging stations.
As part of the project, existing trees in the lot were relocated to where hundreds of native plants and trees will be planted.
Truckloads of earth, granite and concrete left from the old Center School were also removed from the lot so it could be repaved with pervious and impervious asphalt. The pervious asphalt is used in the parking areas and minimizes the amount of water going into drains by allowing it to pass through the asphalt and back into the ground.
New crosswalks and flashing signs were also added to the lot to provide a connection to downtown businesses and community open spaces, including the Town Common and Sweat Park.
The project totaled just over $ 1.3 million and was funded with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
“With the use of our ARPA funds, we were able to take a lot that wasn’t being used in town and revitalize it so it can be of better use for our community,” Town Administrator Sweet said. “With the renovation of this lot and its added parking spaces, we are excited to see the positive impact it will have on traffic for the local businesses nearby We encourage these businesses to use this parking, and also inform their customers that this parking now exists.”
Added Director of Facilities and Capital Planning Chad Lovett, “I would like to thank the Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator’s Office for their support throughout this process. Together, we have worked to transform a dilapidated parcel into a beautiful lot to benefit the residents, businesses and visitors to our downtown area.”
The lot will have its landscaping completed in late September/early October. Once completed, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held. Additional details will be shared at a later date.