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Have you heard? The Lakeville Journal is moving

This is a big week for your community weekly newspaper. On Friday, Sept. 8, Salisbury Bank purchased The Lakeville Journal Company’s central location at 33 Bissell St. in Lakeville (see story on the front page.) After about two years of planning, the door is now open for the bank to create new offices for its people adjacent to its corporate facility and trust division along Bissell Street. This is a change that will also be beneficial for The Lakeville Journal Company, which publishes the Millerton News as well as The Lakeville Journal.

There may still be some misconceptions as to why The Lakeville Journal decided a couple of years ago to try to downsize into a smaller space. Readers may remember that in 2008, the company sold its newspaper press to a printer in Brooklyn, N.Y., and began having its publications created at Trumbull Printing in Trumbull, Conn. So that left a large warehouse space in the back of the Bissell Street building with no use relevant to the local media component of the company. We have had a great renter there, American Doll Rooms, over the past years, but the company needed to look at our core mission and decide what we needed to do to best continue to fulfill it.

Even in the office area of the Journal building, changes in the way publications are produced since Robert Estabrook built the building in 1982–1983 created unused space. There were once two film darkrooms in operation, for instance, but with the change over to digital photography that space has been switched to storage. The ease with which information can now be shared, both online and in the preparation of pages for print publication, has made it possible for local journalists to work with a camera and laptop, or a cellphone, and get the news out from any location, not just an office with four walls.

So it only made sense to see if the Journal’s building could be put to better use by another business. That business is Salisbury Bank, a good neighbor to all on Bissell and Main streets in Lakeville since it built its corporate office on the corner of the two streets years ago. The Journal building will find a new life and serve the community well in giving a chance for the bank to have many more of its employees in Lakeville, in proximity to its other departments there. Banking is one industry that still requires a larger amount of central office space.

The Lakeville Journal will move over the next couple of months, in that the bank has built in time to relocate this company of more than 30 employees to its new site, planned to be in Falls Village. There was a wide-ranging search for new space conducted by the company’s building committee, with tours of more than 20 locations over the past couple of years. Because the newspaper needs garage or loading dock space in addition to office space, the options were more limited than one might imagine. 

Once the company has moved into its new space, about which more will be written later, there will be an open house for all to come and see where your community weekly news organization will be operating for the foreseeable future. The Millerton News will remain where and as it is, an independent publication with its own editor and staff on Century Boulevard in Millerton. 

This is a time of change for The Lakeville Journal, but what is not changing is our commitment to all our communities to give them access the best local journalism we can provide.