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The Medfield State Hospital Master Plan Committee (MSHMPC) is the recipient of the prestigious 2019 John Keller Award for Outstanding Planning Initiative for the Medfield State Hospital (MSH) Strategic Reuse Master Plan by the Small Town & Rural (STaR) Planning Division of the American Planning Association (APA). The STaR Awards Committee was incredibly impressed with the plan, and felt it embodied the best of small town planning and as a model for a reuse plan. They acknowledged the strong public and political support for the process and outcome. The MSH Strategic Reuse Master Plan is a plan and specific guide for the reuse and rehabilitation of 39 historic buildings plus selected new construction for a total of 661,000 square feet on a 128-acre campus overlooking the Charles River in Medfield.
Medfield State Hospital planning has been ongoing as the hospital prepared to close down and was shuttered completely in 2003. Planning switched gears in 2014 when the Town purchased the property – the planning process intensified and became Medfield-driven. The MSH Strategic Reuse Master Plan balances the priorities and desires of the Community with the economic and financial objectives of minimal impacts on school and Town services, minimal effects on property tax rates, and the potential for profitable development from the investor’s perspective.
The MSH Strategic Reuse Master Plan embraces mixed use. Key features include: diverse housing types addressing needs for seniors, down-sizers, millennials, and affordability; restoration and reuse of almost all of the existing buildings; maximizing and maintaining open space and vistas to the Charles River watershed; allocates buildings and open area for a cultural hub; space designated for a recreational and athletic complex; preservation of scenic vistas with the retention of public access and walking trails; and protection of agricultural lands.
The nomination was submitted by Town Planner Sarah Raposa, AICP, and Kathy McCabe, AICP, of McCabe Enterprises. The McCabe team includes CRJA/IBI Group, Pare Corporation, and Paul Lukez Architecture. The consulting group also included Carri Hulet with the Consensus Building Institute. Special thanks are due the residents of Medfield for their time, assistance and willingness to take part in this endeavor.
The award was given at the Awards Reception and STaR Business Meeting on Sunday, April 14, during the National Planning Conference in San Francisco, California.