Since 2008 there were talks about building an arts center for the community. But it will now become a reality.
The Dedham Board of Selectmen signed the Old Avery School lease over to the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center for Mar. 1, during their meeting Thursday night.
"This is a night many of us have waited for, for a long time," Vice Chairman, Mike Butler said. "I support the lease as written and I think that we are keeping our promise from town meeting."
The center is expected to provide artist work spaces, broadcasting labs, a gallery, a shop and several studios that will offer multi-generational classes.
"The highlight point for me is that there will be a community center with the old gym," chairman Carmen DelloIacono said. "This will boost the East Dedham community."
The Mother Brook Arts and Community Center committee did not release a date for the grand opening, but they are hoping to open as soon as possible.
"A group of volunteers spent a year of [their] lives listening to the public about what's desirable for the community and what was feasible," selectman Paul Reynolds said.
In fact the committee was able to raise their own funds for the lease and will be able to use some of the $20,000 ArtistLink Grant money that was received in November.
Selectman Reynolds was happy to see the town "using culture and the arts as a catalyst for economic development and community development."
Town Administrator William Keegan believes that the signing of the lease was a significant action for the town.
"I think it's significant in many ways because it begins a new era," Keegan said. "And we're pleased to be in the front end of that."
Mike Downey is the treasurer for the art center and was also relieved to see the lease signed.
"I believe negotiations took a little of bit time," Downey said. "But what came out was a very well thought of lease. And we are going to invest substantial money into this [that can help] benefit the local area and the town as a whole."