"Future" plans discussed for former Belchertown State School - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

"Future" plans discussed for former Belchertown State School

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While a lot of land left by the Belchertown State School has been developed, the main campus, which is about 80 acres, remains vacant.

Mass Development and the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Council listened to a proposal by BelArts on Wednesday night. BelArts is looking to create an innovative and out-of-the-box work and living space: A solar-powered artisan village.

"It's everybody's kind of creative energy coming together," said Windsor Mallett of BelArts.

Mallett is envisioning restaurants, a boutique hotel, office space for artists, marketing companies and start-up businesses.

"Anyone who has a business based on being interactive," he said.

Although the plan is only in preliminary stages, residents seemed to like the idea.

"It affords a central location for individuals to congregate with one another and share their social experiences," said Sarah Madison of Belchertown.

College student Ruthie Sterling adds, "I know we can keep our high school students here and our graduate and college graduates coming back to the area if we have space like that."

Mallett says the solar artisan village would ultimately bring in about 600 to 700 jobs.

No votes were made Wednesday.

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