Conservation Commission Approves School Plans
Board's Order of Conditions will be finalized and submitted on Friday.
Conservation Commission members gave the go ahead for the Wilmington High School construction plans following public discussion on Wednesday night.
The board will submit its Order of Conditions and deliver it to the town likely Friday, allowing the town to officially move forward with setting up the construction timeline.
“As far as the Conservation Commission goes, this gives the go ahead for the project,” said Conservation Commission chairman Donald Pearson. “The Order of Conditions sets out the guidelines the project must meet in order to be compliant with wetland regulations.”
During Wednesday’s meeting, several of the items that will likely be in the Order of Compliance were discussed. A group of residents from Nathan Road spoke out about plans of using the neighborhood as one of spots for off-site mitigation.
Nathan Road was recently added to the list along with Wildwood School and Town Park for venues where the town will add trees and shrubs to make up for the impact the school project will have on the Church Street environment.
“It’s a numbers game,” said Sandy Brock, a chief engineer for Nitsch Engineering. “We have two great sites, and from there it’s about searching for that third. We want to maximize the first two, and when we do that we can assess just what we have left to do.”
The plans at Nathan Road would include planting over a gravel area, a patch of grass and where a sidewalk currently located.
Residents expressed concerns particularly about the sidewalk, saying it could create a safety issue for families who walk on it with their children in the neighborhood.
In response, Brock said the Conservation Commission could require that Nathan Road be the last site that is mitigated. That way, if the town finds extra land on the first two, there is the possibility Nathan Road would not be needed.
“I don’t think that’s a stretch at all,” said Brock.
Brock said the off-site mitigation will not begin until next spring.
In a response to concerns about the oil located at between 11 and 13 feet below the surface, the slab within the boiler room will not be removed. The remainder of the foundation will be installed without issue, according to a construction representative.
Superintendent of Schools Joanne Benton said early release bid packages for construction of the turf field and the demolition of the gymnasium are already out for big proposals. Benton expects that site work, foundation and steel packages will be released for bid proposals in the next two months.