By Adam Urquhart
NASHUA – The Nashua Police Athletic League facility on Ash Street is scheduled for a complete makeover this spring when Building on Hope brings crews into the heart of the Tree Streets Neighborhood.
“What we plan to do is come in for 10 days in May and completely renovate this building,” Building on Hope Co-chair Jonathan Halle said while speaking during the Tuesday special Nashua Board of Aldermen meeting. “We expect to raise over $800,000.”
Building on Hope describes itself as a community organization comprised of volunteers who work with builders, architects and designers to provide physical improvements to facilities associated with nonprofit service groups. Plans call for the PAL building to be completely transformed through this project, as Halle said said bought an elevator on Tuesday as part of this project.
Halle said they organizers will work with as many as 100 general contractors on this project. He said there should be about 200 people per day working at the site.
For this project, Halle said there are 15 interior designers who are tasked with designing a room, assembling a team and uniting for the build.
Nashua PAL Executive Director Shaun Nelson joined Halle for the Tuesday presentation. They shared a video with board members that featured some past projects that Building on Hope has completed, including one for the Manchester Police Athletic League.
Halle told BOA members they want city leaders to waive permit fees for the project and to help to manage traffic on Ash Street. Building on Hope would prefer to close Ash Street during the day through the week to allow crews plenty of room to work. Halle said he needs parking for about 50 vehicles every day project. These crews will also need a place to park, so their hope is to close the street. The hope is to manage the street so emergency vehicles and Ash Street residents can pass through, but to manage it so there is no further traffic. Additionally, Building on Hope will have a number of tractor-trailers locate in the park across the street from Nashua PAL to store materials.
Nelson said once the renovation is complete, Nashua will have a state-of-the-art facility in what is currently a tough neighborhood.
“Our plan is to transform the Tree Streets from the inside out, essentially, after this project is done,” Nelson said.
Nelson has worked with Nashua Pal for about 12 years now. He said the organization has gradually gained strength during its 30 or so in Nashua.
Officials said this project will start in March ahead of a formal groundbreaking. Officials said heavy construction should take about 10 solid days, allowing for a finish in May.
As far as waiving the building permit fees go, Mayor Jim Donchess said all that is needed is a resolution since it is within the discretion of board members. Donchess also said he believes they could shut down the street.
“We’ll do what we can to work with you and make things happen,” Board President Lori Wilshire told Nelson.
While these Nashua PAL renovations are quickly approaching, other renovation work will begin next month in the Aldermanic Chamber. Tuesday was the last board meeting in the Aldermanic Chamber, as it will close until the last week of March or the first week of April for that work to take place.