St. Joseph

The Diocese of Manchester has submitted plans to subdivide St. Joseph Church, above, from the parcels on either side of it – lots containing the Busiel building and the former Holy Trinity School building. (Courtesy photo/Michael Catudal)

LACONIA — As expected, the Diocese of Manchester has submitted plans to the city to subdivide its St. Joseph Church property into three parcels as part of an effort to preserve the historic structure.

Planning Director Dean Trefethen said subdivision plans will be presented at the Aug. 14 Technical Review Committee meeting before going to the Planning Board as soon as Sept. 3.

The proposal would allow the diocese to sell parcels containing a school building and a mansion, while the circa-1929 church building is preserved.

Meanwhile, a group called the St. Joseph Church Preservation Society is preparing to enter into substantive negotiations with the diocese regarding ways to preserve the church, said Councilor Andrew Hosmer, a member of that group.

A key player in that society is Bob Smith, who was instrumental in the campaign to help the Boys and Girls Club purchase its building, a former Episcopal church, on North Main Street, and who helped establish an endowment fund for Holy Trinity School.

The diocese backed off earlier plans to demolish the church after a public outcry in favor of saving the structure.

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