Break a leg, Warren

Finally, an idea Warren can get behind.
The last four or five plans for the Liberty Street School were far from ideal, asking the town and residents in its cramped downtown district to give up too much for too little. But the most recent plan for the old brick edifice is refreshingly different and deserves Warren’s support.
The idea proposed by 2nd Story Theatre is to use the old building as a rehearsal space and set workshop. There will be no public performances there, theatre officials promise. No drain on parking. No noise and no more clutter — theatre workers and actors can park out back.
Wonderful. While grand old public buildings like the Liberty Street and Main Street School are often targeted by developers who want only to make a buck, recent plans for each building — rehearsal space in one, a kitchen incubator in another — are exciting not just for their novelty, but also for what they say about Warren itself and what they promise the town.
The Hope and Main kitchen incubator will be built in the Main Street School because its founder, Lisa Raiola, believes Warren is a great place. It’s got a hip population, is known as a friendly, up-and-coming small town. That’s the same reason 2nd Story opened here more than a decade ago, and the reason officials are choosing to stay here and take on another building. In return for each, Warren will be getting much more than the one-time payments developers would have offered. Each new idea that adds to Warren’s cultural and employment base makes the town better, and that’s good for everyone.
Last fall, Warren voters responded overwhelmingly to the kitchen incubator idea, turning out in numbers not seen in years to approve the Main Street School building’s sale. We hope similar numbers turn out in May to approve 2nd Story Theatre’s plans to purchase Liberty Street for $100,000. It’s a no brainer, for the neighborhood and Warren as a whole.

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