A Look at Both School Appeals in Full

A group of 14 residents and an abutter each filed appeals against the DEP's school ruling, and you can read each appeal for yourself here.

The residents appealing the construction of the Wilmington High School when they filed a pair of appeals last week. Now you can have a look at the list of concerns for yourself.

In the two appeals, which are posted in PDF format on this article, a group of 14 residents and one abutter list a wide variety of concerns with the .

The appeal filed by 14 residents and led by Kevin MacDonald, the concerns include:

  • Installation of artificial turf. “The Applicant never adequately demonstrated that there are not practicable and substantially equivalent alternatives to the proposed installation of the artificial turf field.”
  • Off-site mitigation areas. “The selected areas are taking otherwise useful and, if mitigated, un-replaceable areas as technical formalities only.”
  • Activity and Use Limitation (AUL), or the area contaminated by oil. “Because surface grade within/over the ‘hot spot area’ in the AUL area will be approximately five feet lower than the current surface grade … proposed site conditions will not be in compliance with the AUL currently on record at the Registry of Deeds. This proposed change in surface grade is a significant reason why hot spot removal should be required at this public school property.”
  • Stormwater Management. “In our opinion, it is not appropriate to approve the storm water management plan for this project without requiring that a Soil Management Plan, and/or in our opinion a Release Abatement Measure Plan, be attached to the request for approval.

In conclusion, MacDonald’s appeal asks the Department of Environmental Protection to take extra steps of caution before approving the school.

“Unplanned remedial activities are typically more expensive, and more prone to creating other unforeseen project complications and/or environmental impacts than planned remedial activities,” the appeal reads. “Therefore, we request that DEP include a superseding condition that work on any aspect of this project should not be permitted until the DEP Northeast Regional Office Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup has received and responded to our concerns associated with the proposed changes in site conditions within the AUL area.”

Abutter Gerald O’Reilly submitted his own appeal, which focuses on how the project will impact the quality of water that his family drinks.

“The elements that will be in the artificial turf field … will pose a threat to our lives because of the nature of the elements,” O’Reilly’s appeal reads. “Those elements will only be tested after installation when the elements are free flowing in the groundwater and surface runoff.”

According to O’Reilly, there are six homes in the Wildwood Street area that have private wells adjacent to the Ipswich River and watershed. He believes each could be impacted by the project.

“My concern is that any and all compounds used in the finished surface and foundation of the athletic complex will leach into my well and the other wells, thus endangering our health and wellbeing,” said O’Reilly. “Our well was contaminated with Methyl tert-butyl ether (MBTE); no explanation was ever given on how long we ingested the known carcinogen (the Wilmington Board of Health was silent to just how long it was in the water and from where it came from). My late wife, Anne O’Reilly, died of lung cancer.”

It is unclear how long the appeals will delay the high school project for, but if the town and appellants cannot resolve their differences, the appeals will go all the way to an adjudicatory hearing that could push the school off by about a year.

Town Manager Michael Caira remained confident that the town will prevail in the appeal, and said he does not believe the residents have a case in their appeal.

“There’s been comments apparently made that there hasn’t been enough information available to residents, and that so disingenuous,” said Caira. “People should not be hiding behind things that just aren’t true. The fact is that this has been about the most transparent process you could possibly have. There is a group of people who simply don’t want to see the project and they’ve found a way to delay it. The irony is that in the end the project they don’t want will happen, and will happen at greatly increased expense to them and other taxpayers.”

Christine July 31, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The turf field issue has already been argued in many other towns and in the end the turf has been installed eventually anyway and mitigated safely . Do you really want to hold the education of our children hostage Mr. O'Reilly?? We want our kids SAFE, outdoors and active as much as possible too! In the end you will have cost this town millions and that is how you will be remembered-please withdraw your appeal and settle this at the table in a manner that respects the taxpayers in town and the thousands who came out in support of bettering our town with a new high school. We don't have millions to waste and this is reflecting poorly on the town. I hope you come out in favor of working together- Christine DeAmbrose cd2240@aol.com
Daniel July 31, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Reading the appeals (including the odd cut and paste jobs, incoherent and detached ramblings, references to Machiavelli and the Prince, pictures of Motorcycle gang's toilet bowls) reminds me of that classic book by Russian Nikolai Gogol...Diary of a Madman. Yes Kevin, Ozzy had an album of the same name. So Karl...what do you think of the merits of your good pal "Jerry's" (sic) appeal now?
Daniel July 31, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Stacie July 31, 2012 at 07:55 PM
What does a past Motorcycle club have to do with a New High School. Residents VOTED, it passed we need to move on.
Stephen Costa July 31, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I had the great honor of serving the town i grew up in on the Master Plan Com.This School vote was huge for the town i saw the report when it came out and i said why didn't we vote for a new high school 15 year ago not the middle school. I remember that town meeting i got up and i asked the town manager why are we voting a new middle school not a new high school. I was told we need the middle school. I trust the Town Manager when he said we needed it. Now look at this mess. Yes i may not live in Wilmington anymore but most of my Family still does. I can't afford to live in the Town i grew up in. The home prices are crazy and the taxes are only going up and for the last 6 mos we have people fighting to stop the project. Here is something people may not know I wanted to see the master plan change and have the High School go up to the corner of Woburn St and 125 there would been a bigger school and more field space. It got shot down everyone wanted it to stay on 62. If i still lived in town i would be 100% for it.
Mathew Jancsics July 31, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I am self-editing my previous post and adding... Rather sad that seemingly $200 and some rather amateur appeals can hold up this project. And to echo Daniel, Karl, so are you truly going to try and continue to assert there is any actual substance in these appeals or finally concede that these are nothing more than shenanigans in an attempt to stall and lash out against the town.
Steve H August 01, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Where has Kevin been, he files an appeal and vanishes from here, Kevin why not be a man and answer your critics, or are u too much of a coward like George. All you are going to do is waste the towns money, funny because you are always complaining about the town wasting money, now you will be the cause of wasted money, proud of yourself.
Foghorn Leghorn August 01, 2012 at 01:34 AM
OK…I Say OK, I have read the whol…I say whole (thing). Perhaps Mr. O’Reilly has a point. I especially am concerned with pg 63 of 91…and I quote…I say QUOTE… “photo of a water closet, hopper, crapper, or what you will in place in the motorcycle club house at 57 Wildwood St”. I am totally on their side now…this proj..I say project must be stopped to save the crapper. This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show
Cynthia Costa August 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Why are 6 homes on Wildwood St. still depending on private wells to provide their families with drinking water? I thought that by now, they would be using town supplied water for their personal needs and use the water from their wells to water their lawns. I see that many other residents have been doing this for years.
Leah P August 02, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Why are the Town workers digging up the grass at the High School by the Adams Street wing?
Walter August 02, 2012 at 12:35 AM
There is no Town water that goes by these homes. Those of us that were in favor of the school were not told about this. These Wildwood Street residents probably think we don't care about them. I am starting to have serious doubts about this project.
Mathew Jancsics August 02, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Ha, wouldn't be suprised if Karl wrote some of this for him, page 19 of the monster appeal reads: "I believe that the Schol Committee cited Mr. Hayes for his Facebook activities and told him to cease operation of the personal site by unanimous vote. I believe his personal site violated the Open Meeting Law. The minutes of this meeting are attached on a video disk that I would enter into the record. View in particular the Chariman of the Board of Selectmen attempt to unnerve a mild mannered Mr. Bodnar." I am truly at a loss for words to express how simply ridiculous this is.
Mathew Jancsics August 02, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Walter, interesting that your support is in the past tense, also I believe the School committee as well as the other involved parties were pretty clear about the Turf field.
Penny D August 02, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Do you realize that out of the 14 applicants, 6 of them do not pay real estate taxes!
Cynthia Costa August 02, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Thank you, Walter, for this information. Is it possible for these homes to be provided with Town water?
Walter August 02, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Thank you Matt for posting the high school project appeal. After reading this it appears that the appellates could very well be justified in appealing.
Christine August 02, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Walter, Respectfully, there is nothing new in these appeals. Our local DEP and Conservation Commission have already addressed water concerns and the people leading these appeals have personal gripes with the town--it is NOT about the environment. They had more than a year to adress their concerns and they did not. This delay will cost the taxpayers of Wilmington three million plus right off the bat. And 6 of these appellants don't even pay property taxes in town. The leader, Kevin, lives in his own parents' house and has lost his license in town so he's made this his life's work. Please consider contacting me personally if you have questions about this appeal. cd2240@aol.com Sincerely, Christine
Christine August 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Cynthia, If you have concerns please contact me too. I see you are a member of our 500+ member group. Thank you, Christine cd2240@aol.com
Cynthia Costa August 03, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I STILL want to know WHY there are 6 houses on Widlwood St. that are NOT CONNECTED to the TOWN WATER SUPPLY??? If it's because of the cemetery or wetlands (two possible reasons that I was given), IS there ANYTHING that CAN BE DONE to SUCCESSFULLY hook these houses to Town water? Will SOMEONE give me a VALID REASON for this issue?
Mathew Jancsics August 04, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Cynthia, until we get someone from the town here I am not sure anyone will know for certain why those houses aren't on public water, could even be that they all petitiioned the town not to be given that they have wells for all we know.
Frank Ribinowicz August 05, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Ms DeAmbrose, you are delusional! Gerald O'Reilly is 100% correct in his actions! Read deeper into the report and you may see why this project must stop. Regards, Frank Ribinowicz lwll24@hotmail.com
Mathew Jancsics August 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Frank, 99.999% of the town disagrees with both you and Gerald and speaking for myself I have yet to see any compelling reason as to why this project should be halted, rather what I see is a bunch of rehased nonsense that keeps getting dismissed time and time again, I have read the report and it really makes alot of baseless assumptions about topics that have been beaten to death.
Christine August 06, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Thanks for the compliment Frank, or George or Kevin...I already got your email (so two posts really weren't necessary) however, I can respectfully disagree. The merits of these appeals have yet to be determined, and unless you've had you're head buried somewhere, this process has been detailed, rigorous and reviewed by professionals every step of the way. Mr. O'Reilly's and the other appeal's timing demonstrates another (VERY EXPENSIVE) stall tactic that was no surprise and takes advantage of a process designed to empower-not bully. These costly delays will not be forgotten by the townspeople and will not undermine the positive direction of 99% of this great town....
Frank Ribinowicz August 06, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Mathew, five 9's is a bit of a stretch on reality. You must have voted for snake oil saleman Champoux...Bottomline is that the current site could be repurposed at a profit for the town while a more evironmentally safe site is found. For years Wilmington has made poor environmental decisions that have crippled the towns water supply. Mr O'Reilly's appeals simply safeguard his piece of the world which he is entitled to do. I have never met Mr O'Reilly. I simply watch the silly town meetings where regular bickering takes place on cable access, I read the patch or read the Town Crier. I support his efforts 100%. I find it amazing that the town has a financial surplus with all of you grandstanders. As an aside, All of you should safe the crap on how this will impact any childs education. They will perform the same on all scholastic measures whether the school is there or not. It is the families that impact a students academic growth not the building.
Mathew Jancsics August 06, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Frank, I actually am preemptively regretting my reply to your drivel however as a sucker for punishment and killing brain cells here goes. I honestly laugh every time someone throws out that argument around finding a new site, that horse has left the stable and isn’t coming back so you can either keep beating it or just let it rest. I am not going rehash that which has been said billions of times as to why they selected this site, rather I will come to the conclusion that if you’re going there you clearly can’t be reasoned with...who cares, the decision has been made. Mr. OReilly and the other appellants aren't safeguarding anything, the DEP will rule as they had before and the plans as they stand will continue, I doubt they will disallow the Turf field (which is a major piece of OReilly’s argument), nor will they force any type of cleanup given that all of these arguments have been presented before. The comment about the school to me shows just how out of touch you are, Wilmington is a growing community, the current school was built over 60 years ago when class size was smaller…yada yada. Personally I feel that most of Wilmington’s schools could stand to be knocked down and built back up, but given the insanity around this high school decision I don’t see that happening. Lastly, classy is your remark about Mr. Champoux…someone who isn’t even contributing to this discussion, I can only hope he sees this comment and decides to weigh in.
Frank Ribinowicz August 06, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Mathew, you won me over. I have no response, you are right. :) Build the school and the turf field. Remember one thing, the growing community you so proudly mention will not be the same community you see today in a decade. Enjoy !!
NP August 07, 2012 at 02:07 AM
what does "safe the crap" mean??
Steven McGinley August 09, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Hello Frank. I don't recall seeing you here before, so I'm assuming you’re new? Please let me be the first to offer a warm hand in welcome. We keep things pretty loose here, there's really only one simple ground rule. We do not allow original thought of any kind. All issues regarding the building of the new high school have been settled, and please let me stress all. The town has already spoken on this, and by an overwhelming majority, I have heard numbers as high as, well, let me just say within a whisker of being unanimous. I'm sure if you were to step back and reread your post you would see that this type of thinking is just detrimental to society as a whole. We cannot allow our citizens to stand in the way of progress, I'm sure if you think about it you could imagine the chaos that may result. I'm not trying to sway to the other side, please the, to keep in mind that this school as a building is going to be just a gleaming example to highlight the beauty that is Wilmington. Dare I say one naysayer, it's his belief that there are other areas where much smaller amounts of money could be spent to beautify and improve our image. From that example alone I'm sure you could now see how original thought is just a hindrance to our progress. And I don't want to discourage you from coming here, but please keep in mind, you would clearly have had a better chance of convincing Josef Stalin not to take Berlin,
Steven McGinley August 09, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I know are future is uncertain here, will we still be able to get Carnival sausage and peppers and around the fourth? I just don't think anyone can tell us at this point. But if we can all just get on the same path here. Again, a warm welcome!
Paul August 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Well i guess Kevin is up to NO good again ! He was down at Deming Way again last night ! So you know he is NOT done yet.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something