Local Saugus cable station is seeking a new home

Saugus High School.
Saugus TV currently rents space at the rear of the existing Saugus High School. (File photo)

SAUGUS — With the threat of a wrecking ball crashing into Saugus High School in a few years, Saugus TV, the town’s cable network, is seeking a new home.

Saugus TV currently rents space at the rear of the existing high school. Once the school is torn down and a new middle-high school takes its place, the nonprofit will be forced to find a new space to work. Crews broke ground on the new school in July, knocking down an unused gym, and the project is expected to be completed by 2020.

President of Saugus TV’s Board of Directors Al DiNardo and his team are getting a jump on finding a new space. The board is trying to reach an agreement with the Saugus Historical Society to share its space at 30 Main St.

“We would have a third of the space for us and (the Historical Society) would have a third of the space for them,” said DiNardo. “The last third would be a common area.”

The .342-acre property is valued at $338,800, according to Patriot Properties. The structure has 11 rooms, two bathrooms, and 3,478 square feet of finished space.

“After viewing this property, we felt this would probably be a win-win situation on a number of levels,” said DiNardo.

Saugus TV would pay for a studio to be built as an addition to the rear of the property, equipped with soundproofing, said DiNardo. The group would also pay for a swap from an old oil heater to a gas system, the addition of air conditioning, and cosmetic renovations, he said.

A small parking lot would be added behind the building.

Saugus TV would pay for utilities, about $10,000 to $12,000 a year, plus heat in lieu of rent to the Historical Society, which owns the building. Future maintenance would be split 50-50.

“I think that this definitely could work out,” said Selectman Jeffrey Cicolini. “It also helps another non-profit within the community, which I think is fantastic. I think it could be a win-win opportunity.”

Saugus TV is overseen by the Board of Selectmen and provides periodic updates to ensure the board is favorable with direction they are pursuing, said chairwoman Debra Panetta.

The arrangement is still in the early planning stages and the groups’ attorneys are expected to draw up a contract, said DiNardo.

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