Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2006 Preservation Award Winners
The L.D. Batchelder School - North Reading
 
The L.D. Batchelder School

Rehabilitation & Restoration

The restored L.D. Batchelder School is a local planning success story. The residents of North Reading, facing a growing student population, struggled for years over whether to construct a new school or update the historic Batchelder School. The Batchelder Elementary School was built on the town common in 1917.

If the town had opted to construct a new school, it would have had to be sited outside of the center of town ending this historic use of the common and contributing to local sprawl. After significant efforts by the local historical commission and the Elementary School Building Committee, a plan was approved in 2003 to enlarge and renovate the existing historic school building. The restoration was completed without state funding and represents a significant victory for historic preservation in the town.

The Colonial Revival L.D. Batchelder school building is part of the Center Village Historic District. The interior and exterior were restored and an unsympathetic 1950s addition was replaced with a new complementary addition. The windows and doorways of the original school were restored and a new slate roof was installed. The Town of North Reading should be commended for its perseverance and creativity in preserving this historic school building while meeting the new demands of a growing community.

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