After 37 years at Number 161, 'High Above Main Street,' The Groton Herald is moving to new offices at Prescott School on February 1. For all those years, our landlord has been the Sargent family, owners of Moison Ace Hardware. We would like to thank Rick Sargent for carrying on the good-neighbor attitude we first encountered with his father Harold by providing a great place to publish the Groton Herald at a price we could afford, and for just being a ‘good guy.’
We are looking forward to moving to new offices in Prescott School. Although the Prescott Community Center remains controversial in the minds of a few, we are looking forward to being part of this community of smaller businesses and non-profits that provide important services to residents. In many ways, it feels like Prescott is becoming a mini ‘Main Street’ of smaller organizations that allow people to try out new ideas – a sort of small-scale business/non- profit incubator for people whose dreams are focused not so much on the wider world, but on making this Groton a better place.
The cost of rent has pushed many small non-profits and smaller scale sole-proprietorship businesses (not us, thanks to the Sargents and Prescott Center) out of other towns as real estate markets skyrocket and rents explode.
This is unfortunate because smaller organizations offer a unique, quirky character reflected by the personalities of their owners and by the contributors to the mission-driven, non-profit organizations.
Providing a place for these idiosyncratic organizations to be together, organizations whose main focus is on this special, particular place where we live, adds freedom to try different things and is one of the reasons we have found reporting on Groton to be so interesting and so much fun.
In some ways, Prescott School could be seen as an anti-gentrification initiative, costing the town almost nothing while keeping options open for a large town-owned building and its lot in the heart of our downtown, preserving an asset in the center whose future may be unclear now but will likely offer untold benefit to future generations of Groton residents.
Volunteers successfully run much of our government. In a similar vein, Prescott school classes are run and staffed by volunteers, while volunteers also handle the leasing of building space at Prescott. Of course, it is wonderful to have organizations such as the Public Library and the Senior Center that are fully funded by taxpayer dollars. But facilitating an eco-system for community interaction that encourages a network of local organizations to experiment with new ideas and contribute to our town in diverse ways, encouraging freedom of approach, experimentation and a healthy complexity, is truly beyond price.