Thompson also sees other potential public benefits to the property.
"It has a wonderful view; they could put up a picnic area, or have cross-country skiing in season," said Thompson. "We're keeping our fingers crossed this works out."
The town plans to pursue a historic site designation by the state, which would then make it possible to secure grant monies for renovations to restore it to its former charm. "We would preserve it as being one of the major structures of the town," said Reynolds. "We'd like to, in phases, turn it into a small museum to display town photographs and papers, and also turn some of the space into meeting rooms."
Reynolds now stores much of the town's historical collection in his offices at the town hall, which have limited hours. The site could also become a place for teaching local history.
"It could be a community school where kids could go to explore and learn about our town," said Reynolds. No negotiations are under way yet for the purchase, but Callanan said it is moving forward.
Before being approved, the purchase would be subject to a public hearing for input from town residents, and the referendum would sit with the board for 30 days before a final vote.