Trahan Gets to Work in Fitchburg
FITCHBURG -- Lori Trahan’s first day as congresswoman representing the 3rd District brought her to the city Monday to see economic development efforts in the downtown.
She toured the Theater Block and Fitchburg Arts Community -- which are part of efforts to revitalize downtown and the North of Main neighborhood -- and spoke with city leaders about ways she can help Fitchburg.
“There are lots of opportunities we should be on the lookout for to bring funding to Fitchburg,” Trahan said. “We can always use more.”
She was sworn in last week to represent the district that spans from the Merrimack Valley to North Central Massachusetts.
Her visit began at the city offices at Putnam Place to meet with Mayor Stephen DiNatale.
Afterward, Fitchburg State University President Richard Lapidus met them at the Theater Block. He led a tour of the renovated second floor, which is a computer lab for the university’s game design program and the Idea Center space for entrepreneurs to meet.
Lapidus said the project has been a way to bring the university to Main Street and provide a place for people in the community to develop business ideas.
“If we can find another place to plant the flag and make Main Street look good ... it will take care of itself,” he said.
DiNatale added that the Theater Block project has been a partnership with the city that has been transformative for downtown.
Lapidus also offered Trahan the ability to hold office hours at the university like her predecessor, Niki Tsongas, did.
Last, Trahan walked with the mayor and city officials down Main Street to the former B.F. Brown School, which will be transformed into a complex of affordable housing and studio space.
That building is across the Street from the Fitchburg Art Museum, which plans to work with the artists living at the arts community, said Director Nick Capasso.
Elite Construction and Design is working on the renovation project. During the tour, Trahan met several workers at the construction site, including the firm’s president, Matt Fournier, who gave her a hard hat with her name on it that she wore to tour the inside of the building.
She and city officials climbed three flights of stairs past halls of old lockers and former classrooms to get to the roof, where she signed a truss that was placed there when construction began in November.
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