Council Signs Letter of Support for $400K State Grant for Cogswell Rehab

Haverhill City Councilors signed a letter of support for Creative Haverhill and the Reinvent Cogswell initiative, backing the organization’s application for a $400,000 grant from the state Cultural Council.

If approved, the grant would double the organization’s treasury and speed the effort to rehabilitate the hundred-year-old school.

Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan (pictured) praised the group’s efforts and urged the council to sign the letter.

“What you’re trying to do would be transformational, not only for the building but for the people of the city,” Sullivan told Tina Fuller, a member of Creative Haverhill who attended Tuesday night’s meeting to update the council on the Reinvent Cogswell campaign.

Councilor Colin F. LePage said the arts center is a great use of a beautiful but aging building that is no longer appropriate to educate the city’s children.

“It’s not a place for students, but it’s a great place for arts and artists,” LePage said.

In addition to grants, the effort has steadily gained community support.

In September, the Methuen Festival of Trees donated $10,000 to Reinvent Cogswell to upgrade the entry hallway.

In October, the American Dog show in Bradford College raised $1,500 for the art center.

Fuller said the organization is still waiting to learn whether Gov. Charlie Baker will sign off on a $260,000 bond approved by the Legislature in December. State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, who represents the 15th Essex District, which encompasses the South Main Street area, applied for the money.