MEDFIELD - Selectmen have given their approval to a set of "place-making" events at the Medfield State Hospital, including one set for this weekend.
A concert - featuring "Dad's Brass Band," lawn games, an ice cream truck and a community art project - is set to take place at the hospital's chapel grounds on Saturday, June 15, from 2-4 p.m. The festivities this weekend represent the first in a series of place-making events at the property, made possible with technical assistance from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
The matter was raised at the most recent selectmen meeting, with Cultural Alliance of Medfield President Jean Mineo and Town Planner Sarah Raposa speaking to the board. Raposa noted that the selectmen had already approved the June 15 concert, but had expressed some reservations about the slate of events as a whole.
The board, Raposa said, had asked about the liability the town would incur by having people at the property. She said she had further inquired about that, and had learned such events would fall under the town's insurance. She consulted with the property's development committee, and they expressed no concerns about the effect on future building there.
Selectmen Chairman Gus Murby said he had reacted unfavorably to the idea of a "porchfest" at the hospital. He said he feared that involving the hospital buildings in such an event would encourage people to further encroach upon them, leading to possible safety issues.
Murby asked what level of commitment the two were seeking from the board. He said he would be hesitant to approve something as far in the future as next May, given that opportunities - like a movie company looking to film there - could arise.
Mineo said only three of the events had solid dates thus far, and that organizers could remain in contact with town officials to ensure there were no conflicts.
Selectmen voted unanimously to authorize the use of the property, subject to Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler's confirmation.
Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-316-2809 or email@example.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter @MGleason_MDN.