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Wood & Clay supports Gale School project



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Shannon Robinson-Beland (left), co-owner of Wood & Clay; right, Becky Bryant, President & CEO of Lakes Region Community Services. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
September 16, 2021
BELMONT — Wood & Clay, a local company that specializes in custom home construction and renovations in the Lakes Region, purchased $50,000 in New Hampshire business tax credits to support the redevelopment of the Gale School in Belmont. The project will transform the historic schoolhouse into a community facility that will include on the second floor a new program center for Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS).

Wood & Clay, based in Gilford, is owned by husband and wife team Kevin Beland and Shannon Robinson-Beland.

"We hope our contribution inspires other local businesses to support this wonderful project," said Shannon Robinson-Beland. "It's exciting that LRCS will be part of the next chapter for the Gale School what a great way to put this historic building back to good use serving local families again."

"We had been thinking for a few years about opening a satellite program center," said Rebecca Bryant, President & CEO of LRCS. "The Gale School will be a great location for us a place where we can offer our full range of programming to new families and to existing clients who will find it more convenient."

Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) is the developer for the project. LRCD and LRCS are partnering to sell the tax credits to local businesses. They have $536,000 left to sell in order to move ahead with construction, which could start as early as next summer if fundraising is successful. Businesses interested in purchasing tax credits for the Gale School project should contact Carmen Lorentz at LRCD by calling (603) 524-0747, ext. 110.

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 New Hampshire that contributes to a CDFA tax credit project receives a NH state tax credit worth 75 percent 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 New Hampshire 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 $214,000 to date.

Martin Lord Osman
Martin Lord & Osman
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