City to make decision on Fuller property


Hannah Zuidema

Fuller School sits empty eight years after close


After nearly eight years without classes, the city is looking into the future of Milton L. Fuller School.

The North Shore YMCA submitted a proposal to the city that outlined their plan to utilize the space. The Y project team offered 5.1 million dollars to move their current Middle Street facility  to where the abandoned Fuller building stands.

“Currently we lose $200,000 a year because of lack of parking and facilities,” said Tim Flaherty, executive director of YMCA.

The larger location for the YMCA would be beneficial. If the proposal is accepted, the new YMCA facility would consist of three parts: a new residential community, space for commercial and retail, and room for the YMCA programs.

Approximately 170 apartments would be included in the new complex. Apartments would produce additional revenue and would primarily provide housing for commuters and individuals in need of a smaller living space.

The new YMCA amenity would increase membership, and as a result, increase the amount of financial support that the YMCA could give to community members in need.

We also give away about $350,000 to Cape Ann residents who can not afford camps, programs such as after school programs, memberships, longevity programs for seniors,” said Flaherty.

The recreational facility would be approximately 65,000 square feet and would include several components, such as studios, classrooms, two pools, and a gymnasium with a track.

An estimated $20 million in revenue could be generated over the next two decades from the facility. Nearly 90 percent of this would be in property taxes that would benefit the city of Gloucester, and an estimated 350 jobs would be created.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Gloucester,” the YMCA wrote in the Fuller proposal. “This project will transform the Fuller site into a vibrant community that can benefit Gloucester residents for decades to come.”

The deadline for the city to make its decision is February, 23rd.