Meredith Village Savings Bank has proudly supported Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) with the purchase of $10,000 in tax credits through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). The funds will be put towards the Gale School Redevelopment Project at 60 Concord Street in Belmont Village.
The Gale School was built in 1894, and was used by the Belmont School District until the mid-1980s when it was vacated. Since then, the empty building has stood vacant and fallen into disrepair. In 2017 it was selected as one of New Hampshire’s Seven to Save and in 2018 was named to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places.
In July 2020, the building was successfully moved by the local Save Our Gale School Committee (SOGS) to its new location at 60 Concord Street in Belmont. Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) agreed to partner with SOGS to redevelop the building and, once funding for renovations have been secured, SOGS will donate the land and building to LRCD and the Gale School will become part of LRCD’s real estate portfolio.
The newly renovated community facility is expected to host a child care center operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Central NH and a Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) Program Center. The child care center will add 35 new child care slots to the Lakes Region and the Program Center will serve over 100 families.
“We are grateful to Meredith Village Savings Bank for supporting our efforts to revitalize the Gale School as the project will save a beautiful piece of history, while providing affordable space for the Boys & Girls Club and Lakes Region Community Services to expand their programming, “ said Carmen Lorentz, Executive Director of LRCD.
“Access to quality childcare and other support services is critical to the health of our communities,” said Rick Wyman, President of MVSB. “We are proud to partner with Lakes Region Community Developers to provide support for the Gale School Redevelopment Project and their plans to restore this historic building and give it such a worthy new purpose.”
CDFA tax credits allow businesses to fund qualifying economic or community development projects in exchange for a tax credit that can be applied against state business tax payments. The tax credits are administered by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). Any business with operations in NH that contributes to a CDFA tax credit project receives a NH state tax credit worth 75% of their contribution. The credit can be used over a period of five years to reduce the business’ state tax liability (business profits, business enterprise or insurance premium taxes). The tax credit program allows NH businesses to use their state tax dollars to support local projects that they care about. CDFA reviews many project applications each year and awards tax credits to those they determine are feasible and will make the biggest impact on economic development in the state. For more information, visit nhcdfa.org.
LRCD is a non-profit housing and community development organization whose mission is to create opportunities for the Lakes Region to thrive by developing healthy homes, creating energetic community assets, and engaging residents. Over their 27-year history, LRCD has developed 366 healthy rental homes in six Lakes Region towns, including Laconia. In 2017, they expanded their mission to include community building & engagement programming for the people who live in their properties. Their goal is for everyone in the Lakes Region to live in healthy housing, regardless of their income.
Caption: Gale School Front Exterior Courtesy of Lakes Region Community Developers