About South Hadley

Overview


Rich in history and culture, diverse in recreational opportunities, and convenient to shopping and highways, South Hadley is an inviting and charming community.

While South Hadley offers a wide range of opportunities and services, the people make the community a a warm and welcoming place to live and to visit. With a population of approximately 17,300, the community has a density of only 945 persons per square mile. Some areas are more developed than others, but South Hadley has considerable open space for its residents and visitors to enjoy.


Location


Centrally located in the scenic Pioneer Valley, our location and abundant natural resources have shaped our community and formed the character of the town. South Hadley is situated along the eastern bank of the Connecticut River and southern slope of the Mount Holyoke Range. Situated 14 miles north of Springfield and and 90 miles west of Boston, South Hadley has easy access to other major cities via the convenient Interstate routes of I-91 and I-90 (Mass Pike).

South Hadley's 18.3 square miles of land area ranges from a low-lying elevation of approximately 78 feet at Town Hall in the Falls area to 1,002 feet atop Mount Hitchcock at the east end of the Mount Holyoke Range. The latitude/longitude of Town Hall are 42 12’50” N and 72 35’40” W, respectively.


Climate


Situated in central New England, South Hadley has a pleasant climate with an average annual rainfall of 42.5 inches. Winter to summer temperatures are typically in the mild range as reflected by the average January temperature of 23.6 degrees and average July temperature of 71.9 degrees.

Population & Demographics


Over the past several decades, South Hadley has grown at a steady pace of approximately 500 persons per decade. We are projected to continue this steady growth.

Reflecting the shifting demographics in the country and the state, South Hadley also has an aging population. From 1980 to 2000, the elderly population (65+) grew from 12% to 17.4% of the population. At the same time, the school age population (under 20 years of age) experienced a decline as a share of the total population.

Economic Statistics


Economically, South Hadley is diverse. While residents generally have an income above that of the Springfield Metropolitan area, some neighborhoods have median incomes exceeding that of the state yet other neighborhoods have incomes below the Springfield area. With a household poverty rate of less than 6% in 2000, the community does not have chronic poverty issues.

Government


Continuing the uniquely New England tradition of participatory government, South Hadley maintains a Representative Town Meeting form of government. Its legislative body, Town Meeting, consists of 120 elected members (24 from each precinct for 3-year terms). A 5-member Selectboard (also elected for 3-year terms) provides the Administrative governance with an appointed Town Administrator. You can view the organizational chart.

Members of Town Meeting hold their Annual Meeting on the 2nd Saturday of May and Special Meetings as called by the Selectboard. The Town Budget and the Town Bylaws (General and Zoning) must be approved and adopted by Town Meeting.

South Hadley also has other independent elected boards and officials which provide governance/administrative oversight over specific functions of the town.

Education


South Hadley is known worldwide as the home of the Mount Holyoke College with an enrollment of approximately 2,100 students from nations around the world. The college is one of the five members of the "Five College" network which also includes Smith College in Northampton; Amherst College, Hampshire College, and University of Massachusetts (UMass) in Amherst. South Hadley also has other fine public and private educational institutions. The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts CharterSchool is located off Alvord Street. Berkshire Hills Music Academy is located in the former Skinner House on Woodbridge Street.

Our South Hadley public school system, with a total enrollment of approximately 2,350 students, has two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. The high school on Newton Street graduates nearly 200 students annually.