Section 3. A town may hold real estate for the public use of the inhabitants and may convey the same by a deed of its selectmen thereto duly authorized, or by a deed of a committee or agent thereto duly authorized; may by its selectmen let or lease for not more than 30 years, on such terms as the selectmen determine, a public building or part thereof, except schoolhouses in actual use as such; may by its selectmen let or lease for not more than twenty-five years, real estate to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for use by the authority as a parking lot for commuters; may hold personal estate for the public use of the inhabitants, and alienate and dispose of the same; may hold real and personal estate in trust for the support of schools, and for the promotion of education, within the limits of the town; may receive, hold and manage any devise, bequest or gift for the establishment or equipment of memorials for properly commemorating the services of the soldiers, sailors and marines who have served the country in war, and for the establishment or maintenance of any reading room for which it may grant money under the provisions of section five; and may make such orders as it may deem necessary or expedient for the disposal or use of its corporate property. All real estate or personal property of the town, not by law or by vote of the town placed in the charge of any particular board, officer or department, shall be under the control of the selectmen, except as is otherwise provided in this section or section nine.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a city or town, with the approval of the school committee, may rent or lease any school building not in actual use and, with the approval of the commissioner of education, surplus space in a school building in actual use to any one or more public or private profit-making businesses or nonprofit organizations; provided, however, that joint occupancy of a school building in actual use as such shall not interfere with educational programs being conducted in said building. The terms of any such rental or lease shall be as approved by the school committee; provided, however, that no school building not in actual use shall be rented or leased for an initial term longer than ten years, but with renewal options if approved by the school committee.
The monies received from such rental or lease shall be kept separate and apart from other city or town funds in the city or town treasury and may be expended by the school committee without further appropriation for the upkeep of the facility so rented or surplus space which is so rented; provided, however, that any balance remaining in such account at the close of a fiscal year shall be paid into the General Fund of such city or town; and, provided further, that in any city or town that accepts this proviso, any such balance shall remain in said account and may be expended for the upkeep and maintenance of any facility under the control of the school committee.