After the 1896 Curtis School was no longer used for education purposes, it became home to the Hanover Police Department and the Hanover School Administration Offices. The schools’ central office personnel moved out of the building about 10 years ago and into the Salmond School on Broadway, which had been used as a temporary library during the John Curtis Free Library expansion project.
The town put out a request for proposals for the building, and received a few responses, none of which became reality. One was from a descendant of the Curtis family who wanted to convert the building into a professional office; another was from the Hanover Historical Society, which wanted to use the structure for storage and exhibition purposes.
The most frequently mentioned idea for the site is a new fire station. Many in town believe that tearing the building down now will ease the way for a new fire station to be built.
The potential for a new fire station, which would replace unmanned Fire Station No. 1 farther up Main Street, was discussed at length in the 2005 report of the Hanover Fire Station Study Committee. The debate centers around whether Fire Station No. 1, a one-and-a-half-story structure, can be renovated to accommodate the larger trucks and other equipment. Its location on Main Street, at the intersection of Walnut Street, would improve emergency response times for the northern end of town, which is the main reason cited for locating a new station at the Curtis site.
Replacing the 1896 Curtis School with a fire station is also discussed in the town’s 2008 Master Plan (Page 20). That plan goes even further, suggesting that the three-acre site should be considered for recreation improvements, a smaller senior center, and affordable housing. The 2010 Municipal Facilities Assessment (known as the DRA Report) also mentions using the Curtis site for a fire station, but notably revises the idea to include preserving and retrofitting the historic building.
These are the reports mentioned above: