TOWN OF BUXTON PLANNING BOARD WORKSHOP
March 31, 2008
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: Harry Kavouksorian, Keith Emery, Jeremiah Ross, III, James Logan, Caroline Segalla, and David Anderson
Board Members Absent: Barbara Elwell
Others Present: Dwight Anderson and Bill Hoffman (DeLuca-Hoffman); Gloria Leveillee; Suzanne Lukas, Superintendent; Carol Weeks, Asst. Superintendent; Bill Ellis, Maintenance Supervisor; Cindy Hazelton, School Board Chair; Don Gnecco, Buxton Elementary Principal (SAD 6); Debora DeLea, Building Committee; Jeff Larimer and Brian Keezer (Harriman); Steve Pinette and Steve Howell (S.W. Cole Engineering); Jean Harmon, Robert C. Libby, Cliff Emery, Fred Farnham (Town of Buxton), Stephen Nichols, Harry Weymouth, Steve and Lori Anthony.
Chairman Jeremiah Ross, III, called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
Parking Spaces. One of the questions of Deluca-Hoffman had at the last meeting was how many parking spaces would be provided. How many are needed for special events and for typical day-to-day operations. What Bill found was that none of the site would be dedicated to the Hanson School. They would meet the parking for special events in this case. There were only three percent pickup planned for in the afternoon, and Bill did a count and found that the pickup numbers were down in the single digits. Two-thirds of the parking lot was full, but there does appear to be room due to the low percentage of parent pickup in the afternoon. That doesn’t seem to be a problem. Deluca-Hoffman concluded that parking is fine. There
are 284 spaces to be available, and Deluca-Hoffman just asked that they be shown on the plan, particularly the spaces behind Jewett. Once they see that and learn what’s going to happen with Hanson, other issues can be addressed. There is room on the site to provide additional parking should that be required. Hanson parking would be trickier because the ordinance doesn’t allow parking on an adjacent lot more than 300’ from the building.
Caroline has a couple of questions. She wants to clarify that Hanson would be deeded to the Town. She wonders if the boundary line has to change if that is Town property. Bill stated that the property is all one piece. The problem would occur in the future should part of the lot be broken off. Caroline would like to see on the plan the future parking area if needed. She would like to see some kind of written agreement stating that if there’s some kind of change of use, storm water and such would have to be reviewed so there would be a need to come before the Board later. She referred to 10.A.7.—shared parking. Bill says that this refers to basically what is being done now. Has Diane Morabito and the fire chief reviewed
the layout now? Bill knows that Diane has reviewed it. Caroline is curious how the school feels about the safety of the kids walking in close proximity to the site. Presently, Suzanne stated that they didn’t have any “walking” students except the Salevsky children who have moved down on the Groveville Rd. so there won’t be any walkers. Suzanne said they had long discussions about sidewalks and decided that having them might produce safety issues if they encouraged kids to walk away from the school for parent pickup. Caroline thought that “walking students” (living in close proximity of the site) might cut through the Jewett School area if needed.
Jim asked about 10.7.B.5. (p. 10-6) – parking areas needing to be at side or rear of the building. He referred to the word “shall,” which Jim feels doesn’t give him the discretion to change this. Bill thought that two things cover the Planning Board. Couldn’t Jewett be considered the frontage? If looking at Rt. 22, Hanson would be considered the frontage. (He mentioned Hannaford’s design addressing this issue by the placement of other buildings.) Bill says the State requires a single public entrance—close to the front of the building. If looking ahead, Bill thinks this is a difficult standard to meet without being creative. He would encourage in their ordinance review to allow a certain amount of parking to be gravel. (Costs about
$4,000 a space for paved parking)
Keith would like to see the expansion of the parking area drawn on the plan with a note where parking would be built should something happen with Hanson. He mentioned paved parking spaces for plowing. Keith is aware of kids being bused right across the road from the school.
Truck Access. They went from a small truck on Harriman’s original plan to a much larger one (WB 62). Keith thought there might need to be a sign out next to the road so they’ll know what the size requirements are. A full tractor-trailer could be brought into the bus loop, says Bill Ellis. Bill H. stated that the plan has been modified, and Brian Keezer concurred.
The Bus Queue Area. Jere asked if it were warranted to have additional spaces. It could be designed, he thought, for a full bus queue or staggered. The district says they’ll stagger buses if they have over 11 buses. They’d do the buses in waves if needed. They have 11 buses now to transport all of the students in Buxton. Eleven buses will transport 792 students, according to Suzanne. She said the District sees no problem with 11 spaces because they don’t arrive or leave at the same time. Jere thought that might be different in the afternoon. Some buses arrive later because of secondary routes, Suzanne stated. Caroline asked where the buses are stored. Suzanne stated that buses are stored at the bus
drivers’ homes right now. Some are stored at the bus garage over on Rt. 35.
Service area. Jere talked about the conflict of the service area and the ball field on the left-hand side. Brian talked about the potential of installing a gate. Suzanne did some research with the Food Services Director, and she found that bread is delivered twice a week; milk, daily and very early; actual commodities, every week or two weeks (fairly good-sized truck). Presently, the trucks deliver at the high school and middle school first thing in the morning and probably would come to the elementary school early to mid-morning. Other deliveries can’t be predicted. The scheduled ones are right now early in the day. Kids would definitely be supervised if moving across the site. Harry asked about the willingness to
install an electronic gate. Jere asked about the number of parking spaces behind the building. He wondered if maintenance people might come at odd times as there might be kids moving across that area. The plan is for parking by the food service staff and day custodian; the parking would be for staff working in that part of the building. Jere thought there might be a gate somewhere in that area for children on the playground. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help for students who might be playing there during non-school hours. This is one of the Board’s concerns. Bill found out a couple of other things. He referred to 6 or 8 ft. craters in the ground. One of the problems is what he called a “quick condition” – water built up into the filter basin and talked about a way to design it is to control it through the orifice. Not 100 percent of things going behind the building are safe for the children. Bill H. would push as hard
as he could to get that field away from the service area. If they’re willing to provide a plan with an electronic gate, that would be fine. Where they’re going to fence to keep kids out of the service area is a concern. Putting some striping in, clarifying fencing, and an electronic gate were things he thought might help a lot. Fencing is currently around the outside of the playground equipment. If Bill H. feels that they should continue the gate down and leave a gap there for kids to enter, Harriman could consider this. Brian described a gate before the play area. Bill thought this sounded good, although expressed concerns about kids coming out the front of the building and proceeding down to the playground.
Caroline is still concerned about the basketball area. If someone wants to leave at lunch, kids might not see someone coming out at lunch time. She mentioned the possibility of some kind of shift in this area. She wondered if the driveway could be placed around the outside of the play area. Frank described where the food service area was which would make it awkward to have the driveway where Caroline suggested. Large delivery trucks would be backing into the building and then driving out. Jere mentioned someone coming from the parking area in the back. Frank thought that kids being supervised would cover any kids who might be going through this back parking area. Caroline asked if the public could access the basketball courts
if an electronic gate were put into place. Jeff said that people would be able to walk up to the playground area. Bill Ellis has his staff go into schools before taking vehicles in the back to be sure kids won’t be in the area. Another issue Jere mentioned was the police and fire people being able to get into the area. The Police and Fire Chief would prefer not to see gates; but if it is decided that a gate or gates would be put in, Harriman would meet with the Police and Fire Chief to discuss this. Electronic strips could be provided to all fire, police or maintenance people, Bill H. said. Jim is okay with the location they’re proposing for a gate—for practicality and protection of the kids. He’d feel better if that issue is addressed through the electronic gate. Keith believes the playground needs to be moved. He’s concerned about the gate malfunctioning. He doesn’t believe that kids and vehicles mix. He believes
this is an unsafe situation and won’t support it if it stays that way. Harry is also very concerned about that mixture. He’d like to believe that putting a gate there would work, but he thinks kids find ways to get around gates.
Suzanne Lucas, Superintendent of SAD6said they spent a long time looking at a lot of options. They looked at areas that the public access would be easily accessible. They’ve had experiences where attractions have been behind buildings and vandalism has taken place. The field would need to be used for PE so they want it to be easily accessible to the classes. Having playgrounds easily available for parents who have children at the ball field was considered. The Building Committee looked at some computer-generated models. They thought that having a very large building placed near the back of the site was preferable. They wouldn’t allow school personnel to send kids off to a playing field without supervision. A permanent gate
would be preferable. They believe that putting the playground behind the building would make it less accessible to the public. They didn’t want to place the area away from where it’s needed for PE, and that other things could occur (vandalism) with the playground in the back of the building. Possible noise out back would possibly interfere with academic learning. Keith mentioned if they have a fire and kids would be going across, he has concerns. What about a fire evacuation plan? Suzanne said that they’d wait until the classrooms are set up and figure out where the kids would be able to be gotten out the fastest. The building administration and Fire Chief would go through the building and plan the evacuation; this would happen much closer to occupancy. There are 900 students at the Middle School, and it takes about 2 min. for kids to be evacuated. David would be concerned about where the kids would go, and he realizes that it
hasn’t been planned out yet. Suzanne mentioned that the district has great times for fire drills, and they practice about ten times a year.
Left turn lane on Rt. 22. Brian Keezer stated they will be providing a plan for DOT. They’ll attempt to shift as far as possible on the school’s property to keep away from Mr. Weymouth’s property. The traffic permit must be in hand before the school can be approved.
Landscaping. Jere stated that there’s a proposed amendment to the ordinance; and if no trees are planted before June, they should be okay.
Noise. Bill will have Kavanaugh-Tucci review it. The standard is set. They can have a condition of approval and post monitoring of it. There are two schools in Southern Maine with acute noise problems, Bill H. stated. They have a monitoring company (Allied Engineering), Suzanne stated. They’ll be monitoring and making whatever adjustments will be needed. Jere mentioned there are noise standards in the ordinance. Jere asked Fred if he thought there would be an issue, and Fred didn’t think there would be.
Subsurface wastewater disposal. Brian says they’ve provided Deluca-Hoffman a set of plans just this afternoon but doesn’t know if they’ve had a chance to review them. Bill says this is a very difficult system to design; different people are doing certain parts of the project. Bill says they’ve asked for info, and the person they’ve asked doesn’t even know what they’re looking for. Bill thinks the best thing to do is see if the District can schedule another meeting. Bill went up to see Jim Jacobson. Jim and Steve Howell met and determined that the use of water would be recreational—the irrigation would be very minimal. There is an error in his letter. There were a couple of very high readings—the end of May and during the
summer – three or four times higher – custodial staff mentioned recreational programs having activities where they’re using a lot of water. Brian says they’ve been to the State twice to talk about the design flow. They have a letter which approves the method they’ve used to come up with the design flow; he doesn’t know what else to do. Bill asked a technical question about balancing, and it was stated by Steve Pinette that it was balanced. The pre-treatment system was mentioned that leaves Deluca-Hoffman with two concerns but they’ll review it further. Bill has asked to have it looked at just for putting conditions of approval in. As soon as they get the hydro geo reading done, Bill H. will know more. The monitoring afterward would be another issue. They’re not proposing any test wells to monitor the system right now, stated Brian Keezer. Bill asked about conditions. Brian asked Steve Pinette if it is typically done.
Bill H. said the wells he’s talking about are generally built in. Steve stated that right where it joins the play field is where the issue is – effluent could seep out and onto the playing field over an extended period of years. Jim asked if an operations manual has been produced yet. The septic system does require long-term maintenance, which he isn’t sure if the school is aware of. Jere asked for some info in layman’s terms from Bill H. Brian asked if Bill needed the hydraulics of the pump yet. Jere stated that Brian and Bill could talk tomorrow about that.
Bill mentioned that conditions of approval could be put in for vernal pools and things such as this. Bill has someone scheduled to go in as soon as the snow melts. The Planning Board did do a site walk the end of November, and Jim didn’t notice any in his professional capacity as a Board member.
Jere mentioned that the Salevsky house has been moved. Keith mentioned the school children came out to watch the house being moved, which he thought was an educational day for them. It took from about 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to complete the move.
Lighting plan. Brian referred to the bottom sheet that Harriman has provided. Caroline asked about a manhole.
Jere asked if the Board had any other questions. David mentioned the sewage currently going under Groveville Rd.
Caroline asked for full cut off lighting fixtures to be added to the plan.
Jere wants to talk about the Hanson School issue. What is the plan once this project is completed? Suzanne says that the future of the school is that it cannot be used for kids, which limits the District’s interest in it. Suzanne is not authorized to turn it over to the Town; this is a School Board decision. The building has a lot of needs. While the District is still using it, the District has to keep maintaining it which may improve it. They had to put some big repairs in the boiler a couple of years ago. They’re hoping to invest a minimal amount of money, but one never knows, she said. The building needed the siding, so they had to do it. There are some issues with the gym wall – moisture. They don’t know if
they’ll have to do additional work on it. There will be issues around accessibility – the same things the school has had. They’ll look at whether it’s useful to the District; she thinks a small studies committee needs to look at this. Turning it over to the Town is three years down the road. It appears that there’s a good use of the building for the gym right now, but what will happen when the new gym is constructed. Presently, it’s the only gym in town and gets a lot of use, but that may change. She wonders if the Selectmen should appoint a committee with reps from District maintenance. If the Town doesn’t want the building, then the District will have to decide what to do with it. The School Board would have to vote to offer the building to the Town of Buxton, and the Town would have to vote to accept or not accept the building. If the Town doesn’t accept, then the District would have to decide what to do with it.
The entire site will now be under the blanket of site location for development. If there is sewage to be generated from some future use, could the sewage be discharged across the street? Once you cross site location, you can’t do this any more, Bill thought. The DEP site location development law won’t allow it, Jim clarified. Brian has been checking with Bob Green on this, but he doesn’t have an answer yet. Jere asked if Hanson could be grandfathered, and Brian has asked about this. Bill says the church and the old town hall as well as Hanson are connected for both potable water as well as sewage. The District now has 87 years left on the lease with the Taxiarchis family.
Jean is probably the only Selectmen, she thinks, in favor of keeping the building. To her, the parking is a minor concern. Maybe there are some folks who would do some major fund raising to renovate the building. Jack Memorial, Eliza Libby and Frank Jewett are all schools affected by the new elementary school. Alternative Ed. will be moved to Jack Memorial; Eliza Libby will take over administrative use; and Jewett may be used for pre-k programming (some things the State will tell the District they should do). Keith agrees with Jean that they may want to try and save Hanson. Suzanne says this is something she feels needs further study. Having been on the Building Committee and a parent of children volunteering at the elementary school,
Jean’s concerns about kids and traffic are the same as Board members.
Cindy talked about the deliveries behind buildings; and when things are behind buildings, undesirable things occur. Often things behind schools don’t get used because parents won’t allow kids to hang out there, she said. Moving things to the “behind” she doesn’t favor. She’s seen two older school buildings taken in Gorham by the Town. One is now a beautiful building and a classic saving of a structure. The Shaw School renovation – quite a project – amazing things have been done there. She believes that there will be user groups for a building that today don’t exist. Personally, she would vote to have a study to see what it would cost to tear it down, what it would cost to renovate it, and what is in between.
Cliff said the biggest issue for him is the septic system at Hanson. The lease is with the Taxiarchis family through SAD 6. What would the issue be if the Town takes over the Hanson School? To open the new building, they’re looking at two years. (Sept, 2010) Caroline asked for a table to be added to the plan, indicating the schools on site parking for each school. Brian says the simple way to do that now is to base it on the number of classrooms. If the use changes, this would change. She’d like to have the parking use for special events listed on a table.
Jere asked if Harriman Assoc. would be ready for the April 14th meeting. Everything would have to be in on the 7th of April. The meeting on the 14th will be a regular Planning Board meeting. The big thing remaining to be discussed is the subsurface wastewater disposal. Bill thinks they can write conditions around it at the end of the day. The 7th would be to set the public hearing. Some discussion was held on what could be done at the meeting on the 14th. If the Board receives the info on the 14th, they’d have until the 28th to review it. When will the draft permit be released, Bill asked; and Brian said he couldn’t find out today. Harriman
doesn’t expect any additional questions. It was submitted just before Christmas. They’re pretty confident that the permit is being moved along. Jere asked if Bill would draft conditions of approval for the Board, and he said he would. Caroline thought there should be some kind of agreement between the District and the Town before any discussion of the Hanson School. Jere asked about the history. Suzanne said that the Town would get first refusal; and if the Town chooses not to take it, then the District could do what they wanted with it. Jere wants to know where the District property begins and ends if the Town should get the Hanson School. Suzanne thinks these are all questions the study committee would have to address.
Brian stated he would work with Bill to see if there’s anything of substance they could submit on the 7th. Brian asked if Bill’s conditions could be submitted to the Board by the 21st to be looked at during the meeting of the 28th. Jere, speaking for himself, said that the District could possibly have tentative approval on the 28th. The hearing also could be continued on May 12th. Suzanne will work with Harriman to get everything done as soon as possible so there are no snags. Jeff said the project is currently out to bid, and bids are due to be opened on the 15th of April. Any revisions at the moment would be sent out as addendums. The bids can’t be received until
they receive the site permit, Bill thought. Any contractor would have to review all of the conditions, Bill stated. Bill asked if bids could be accepted before a permit is issued.
The relation between the well, the water supply and the septic system is of interest to Fred. He calculated that 4.5 gal. per minute multiplied by 60 min. would equal 270 gal. per hour, 2100 gal in 8 hours, and 4300 gal. in 16 hours. The septic system will take 4275. Will anything slow down the treatment of the water, will there be a storage capacity. He needs to know the relationship between what is coming in and what is going out. The plumbing designer for Harriman has done quite a water usage study: number of students and number of fixtures and has determined that a 6000 gal. storage tank will be adequate for one day of use. As water comes out of the tank, water will be coming in. Brian will get the numbers, and they can do a
relationship. It has all been done by their plumbing people. One 5000 gal. tank is shown which has been updated by an addendum. Fred said he was sure they’d have their own monitoring system. Bill Ellis. said they haven’t gotten all of their testing back from the State. There will be a room set aside for treatment of domestic water.
The workshop adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Approval Date: __________________
Jeremiah Ross, III, Chairman Signature Date