Franklin Savings Bank purchased $50,000 in New Hampshire business tax credits from Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) to support the redevelopment of the Gale School in Belmont. The project will transform the dilapidated building into a vibrant community facility hosting a child care center operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Central NH and a program center operated by Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS).
Construction could begin as early as next year if fundraising is successful. LRCD must sell $574,000 more in tax credits to move ahead with construction.
“We are thrilled to support the redevelopment of the Gale School,” said Ron Magoon, President of Franklin Savings Bank. “The family supports that will be offered in the renovated space are critical to the health of our local economy. We also love the collaboration between these three long-standing organizations that serve our region so well.”
“This project is very exciting,” said Carmen Lorentz, LRCD’s Executive Director. “We are so grateful to Franklin Savings Bank for their support. Lots of people have worked incredibly hard over decades to save the Gale School and bring it back to life to serve the community again. It’s humbling to be part of this effort.”
The Gale School was built in 1894, and was used by the Belmont school district until the mid-1980s. The building has been mostly vacant since then, and years of neglect have taken their toll. The Gale School was named to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places in 2018, and was selected as one of New Hampshire’s Seven to Save in 2017.
In July 2020, the building was successfully moved by the local Save Our Gale School Committee (SOGS) to a new location at 60 Concord Street in Belmont Village. LRCD agreed to partner with SOGS to redevelop the building.
The tax credits are administered by 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 redirect a significant portion of 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. LRCD was awarded $750,000 in credits for the Gale School project, and has sold $176,000 to date.
Businesses interested in supporting the Gale School project by purchasing tax credits should contact Carmen Lorentz at (603) 524-0747, ext 110.
About Lakes Region Community Developers
Lakes Region Community Developers helps the Lakes Region thrive by developing healthy homes, creating vibrant community assets and engaging residents. Founded in 1988 as the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, LRCD operates 366 rental homes in Ashland, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Tilton, and Wolfeboro. In 2017, LRCD expanded its mission to include new types of real estate development, such as affordable commercial space for local non-profits who provide critical services. For more information, visit lrcommunitydevelopers.org.
About Franklin Savings Bank
Established in 1869, Franklin Savings Bank is an independent, mutually-owned community bank, offering a full array of commercial lending, personal banking and investment services. Headquartered in Franklin, the Bank has offices in Bristol, Boscawen, Tilton, Gilford, Merrimack and Goffstown. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Independence Financial Advisors, Franklin Savings Bank also offers investment, insurance and financial planning services. To learn more, visit www.fsbnh.bank.