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Center on the Common closes its doors

After long deliberation, the Board of Directors of the Center on the Common, has decided to discontinue our programs at 7 Fairbank Street in the facility known as the Old Library. After two years of hard work by many volunteers, we regret having to make this decision. However, we feel there are good reasons to support this course of action.

It is clear to all of us that the Center cannot fully support itself based on the previous lease arrangement with the Town of Harvard. Although the revenue has been consistent, it has not been enough to fully cover our staff, programs and building expenses. Our financial model was based on a healthy balance of earned and donated revenue. The situation with the town hall has impeded our ability to fully realize our model.

The ambiguous situation with 7 Fairbank Street has imposed great difficulties on the Center in gaining support of all kinds. Individuals and organizations are aware that continuous occupancy is not assured for the Center on the Common, and they have been unable to make long term commitments to the organization. This has been particularly true of potential long term renters and would also pose immediate problems for any granting organizations who may give money for the buildings restoration and upkeep. We have also seen this impact on our recent fundraising campaign.

Finally, we created the Center on the Common to bring people together. Now that we have become embroiled in the long and contentious Town Hall project, we find ourselves at the Center of controversy. We never intended to become a source of argument for our friends, neighbors and fellow townspeople. We like our town and our neighbors. This situation has become untenable for all of us.

We would like to thank the artists, musicians, teachers, volunteers and supporters for all of their hard work and multiple talents. We will miss the life and activity that the Center contributed to our town. We will work with town personnel for an orderly transition in the building.

Sincerely

The Board of Directors
Center on the Common.

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