At Carriage Grove in Belchertown, MassDevelopment Announces Land Sale to Belchertown Day School, Completion of New Roadway

February 5, 2020


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

William A. Terry, BEDIC, 413-323-5790

Pat Bruni, Belchertown Day School, Inc., 413-323-8108

Belchertown Day School
Rendering by Kuhn Riddle Architects

MassDevelopment has announced the sale of a two-acre parcel at 90 Front Street in Carriage Grove to Belchertown Day School, Inc. (BDS), which will build an 8,600-square-foot early-childhood education center and afterschool facility. This land sale coincides with the recent completion of Carriage Drive, a 2,000-linear-foot road that opens the Carriage Grove neighborhood for residential, commercial, and industrial uses and realigns Jackson Street to mitigate traffic impact to an established residential neighborhood.

“MassDevelopment is proud to oversee the development of Carriage Grove from a former state school into a first-rate mixed-use neighborhood,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The addition of Belchertown Day School, Inc. and the recent completion of Carriage Drive mark two exciting milestones in our redevelopment efforts, and create momentum toward the build-out of this community.”

Following the Belchertown State School closure in 1992, the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (BEDIC) purchased the Carriage Grove site from the Commonwealth. The main campus of the property contained almost 400,000 square feet of abandoned buildings and utility tunnels with significant environmental issues that required abatement and demolition. Serving as the BEDIC’s agent, MassDevelopment has worked with the town of Belchertown and the BEDIC since late 2012 to create a development vision and a pre-permitted master plan for the site, as well as implement the necessary demolition and infrastructure improvement program.

“This announcement is a very positive step in the efforts by the BEDIC, MassDevelopment, and the town of Belchertown to rebuild the former Belchertown State School campus,” said Gary Brougham, Belchertown Town Administrator. “The new Belchertown Day School, Inc. facility will bring new opportunity to the site, create jobs, and add services to the town and economic returns to offset the significant demolition and infrastructure costs associated with redeveloping this Economic Target Area. Congratulations to Belchertown Day School, Inc., the BEDIC, and MassDevelopment for their ongoing efforts to bring another partner into this mixed-use development.”

“The Town has worked very closely with the BEDIC and MassDevelopment to keep the development moving which has supported private real estate investment and created jobs,” said BEDIC Chairman William A. Terry.

The Belchertown Day School, Inc. was founded in 1977 as a nonprofit agency that provides early-childhood education for more than 100 children between ages 15 months and 12 years old through toddler and preschool classes, before and after-school programming, and vacation and summer programming. BDS currently operates out of leased premises at 432 State Street in Belchertown. Construction of its new facility at 90 Front Street in Carriage Grove is expected to be complete in fall 2020, and was aided by grant funding from the Children’s Investment Fund’s Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund and additional financing from Blue Hub Capital, the Children’s Investment Fund, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Program.

“This new facility will enable Belchertown Day School, Inc. to add a second toddler classroom and offer more days of care to families with school-age children,” said Belchertown Day School, Inc. Executive Director Pat Bruni. “The children, families and staff are very excited about the new school.”

Carriage Drive opened on December 1, 2019. The roadway was designed by MassDevelopment in coordination with town officials. Construction was made possible by a $3 million grant from the Commonwealth’s MassWorks Infrastructure Program.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth. During FY2019, MassDevelopment financed or managed 316 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 9,743 jobs and build or preserve 1,992 housing units.