Cogswell Renovation Campaign Nears Fundraising Goal

Creative Haverhill, the organization behind the drive to renovate the defunct George F. Cogswell School in Bradford and turn it into a community arts center, has 16 days to turn $7,000 into $100,000.

Danelle Smida, a leader of the Reinvent Cogswell campaign, said the group has until Jan. 20 to raise $50,000 in order to receive a 100 percent matching amount from Mass. Development, a quasi-public finance agency.

The amount, added to $350,000 the organization has already raised, would be enough to begin updating and replacing electrical and heating systems in the South Main Street building.

A fundraising campaign on, a crowdfunding website, has reached $43,390 of the $50,000 goal. Donations can be made on the website, or contributions can be made directly to Creative Haverhill at its Wingate Street location, by mail at PO Box 205, Haverhill, MA 01832, Smida said.

As WHAV reported in November, the project would receive funding through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program, creating a new art center that will include studio, gallery and community gathering spaces for local artists to meet and show their work and classrooms to encourage creative programming.

Smida appeared before the City Council at its Tuesday meeting to discuss the project.

Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan praised the project and urged supporters to contribute.

“We’re so close to seeing a real creative arts center; it won’t be just for children but for entire community. We have a lot of talented people in this city who need a place to showcase their work and need a place to express themselves,” Sullivan said.