Historic Commission To Vote On Bournedale Schoolhouse Renovation

The fate of the Bournedale Schoolhouse will be taken up by the Bourne Historic Commission at a public hearing August 26.

The 107-year-old schoolhouse at 29 Herring Pond Road was placed on the National Regiser of Historic Places in 2013. The commission must determine whether a proposed renovation of the building “constitutes a ‘substantial alteration’ as defined within the Enabling regulations of the Code of the Cape Cod Commission.”

Historic commission chairman Judith M. Riordan said that town planner Coreen V. Moore uncovered a codicil in the Cape Cod Commission bylaws. Ms. Moore said that there is a mandatory referral to the Cape Cod Commission for any project involving work to be done to a structure that is listed on the National Historic Register. However, there is a way around that requirement, Ms. Moore said.


“If the local commission deems it not a substantial change, or a modification for maintenance, they can take that vote and not have it referred to the Cape Cod Commission,” she said.

Ms. Moore said that the historic commission had characterized the work as “not substantial” prior to requesting CPA funding from voters, however “it was done in a roundabout way.”

“They need to take a formal vote,” she said.

Residents approved $100,000 in CPA funds for restoration of the Bournedale Schoolhouse at Special Town Meeting in May.

Ms. Moore said the project likely will not have to go before the Cape Cod Commission for referral because the work is all repair in nature, fixing the cupola and the windows. She said the work will involve using the same materials currently on the building in order to keep it in compliance with National Register standards.

“It’s just maintenance and repairs of materials. The biggest thing is repairing the cupola,” she said.

Ms. Riordan concurred that the work to be done is mostly for repair and preservation, and there are no plans to make significant changes.

“We’re not adding or taking off anything,” she said.

The Bournedale Schoolhouse was built in 1897 to replace another schoolhouse on the same site that had been destroyed by fire. It was discontinued as a town school in the early 1930s but has remained the property of the town to this day. Since its closure as a school, the aging building has been used primarily as a meeting place for town organizations and civic associations.

“Our hope is that it might be put into more use in the Bournedale area,” Ms. Riordan said.

The meeting and vote will be held August 26, at 10 AM at the commission’s office, 30 Keene Street in Bourne Village.


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