I am curious what is the sudden rush to sell the Academy building? After it was closed and under the umbrella of the Board of Education, there wasn't any discussion about selling the building; the board knew at that time it was not reopening the building for classrooms. It sat vacant for what, five or six years? The ownership has been switched to the town and we have the opportunity to make some useful use of it and now we want to sell it?
I believe it would be a mistake to let the Academy Street property slip through our fingers. The building with Memorial Town Hall, the chapel, Lee Academy, the former police station, the John Grave House, the First Congregational Church, and the Catholic Church form the core of our Historic District. Should we sell, there will be no second chances as we had with the airport property. I am sure we all remember the bargain price we paid for the airport the second time around. We came up with the funds for the airport; I am sure we can find the money to refit the Academy school and use it in a productive manner.
Should we sell the property, what happens to the attached ball fields? Ball fields seemed to be an issue in buying the airport property. Also I believe the leaching field for the Academy building is under some of the field; with that in mind, the field would have to go with the building.
Why not move the town offices back downtown, where folks don't need a GPS to find them? The auditorium could be put to use as a cultural center and would serve as a place for music, dance, and the Madison Arts Society programs.