NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Northampton wants to purchase the Curran Roundhouse Building on Main Street to create a location for residents to use for major disasters or disruptions.
The Curran Roundhouse Building will provide the Community Resilience Hub to residents who have chronic and acute stress due to natural and human-caused disasters, climate change, and social and economic challenges. It includes 15,000 square feet of office space, on a 6,000 square foot lot that can provide the homeless, and those living in poverty single room units.
“Yesterday (Thursday), we took several important steps toward realizing our vision for a Community Resilience Hub to connect our most at-risk Northampton neighbors to needed services and to be available for the kind of community disasters that could affect any of our residents,” shared Mayor Narkewicz, “Now, we have not only assembled the necessary funding, but we’ve identified a viable downtown site, secured a no-cost option on it, and can begin doing due diligence to determine whether the Curran Roundhouse Building can ultimately become the Northampton Community Resilience Hub.”
Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz announced a final vote by the City Council approved the recommended use of $1,610,000 in cannabis mitigation funds, a previous $445,000 allocation that the Mayor made of federal Community Development Block Grant funds, and Smith College has pledged $200,000 gift toward the Community Resilience Hub.
“I am incredibly grateful to Smith College for its generosity and leadership in supporting this important city initiative,” shared Mayor David J. Narkewicz, “President McCartney and I have been discussing the Community Resilience Hub concept over many months and she understands the critical need it would address both downtown and for our entire community. She joins me in the recognition that the pandemic has exposed severe weaknesses in our social service delivery systems, and that the Resilience Hub is a crucial step toward closing these gaps.”
“Smith College is pleased to support the city’s efforts to create a Community Resilience Hub with this gift of $200,000,” said Kathleen McCartney, President of Smith College. “Mayor Narkewicz has been a visionary leader for Northampton over the last ten years and a strong community partner with Smith College. We are proud to support Mayor Narkewicz’s efforts to advance this project serving those community members most at-risk, which is in alignment with Smith College’s mission and values as an institution.”
An additional 20 public parking spaces will be provided as well as access to the city-owned plaza behind the building.