Hearing to be held on playscape project

SOUTHWICK – The Planning Board will be holding a hearing for a special permit for the playscape and parking lot project at Powder Mill School on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwick Town Hall.

The project, which is being overseen by the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District at an expected cost of $678,000, consists of a new playground and an outdoor learning space with a new rubber surface. The work on the playground will also include making it handicap accessible and having more shade created near the playground for the warmer days in the spring and summer.

The Community Preservation Committee is seen looking over the warrant article for the playground project at Powder Mill School on April 3. (WNG File Photo)

The project also includes work on a storm water mitigation system that will be installed on the Powder Mill School property as well as an expanded and repaved parking lot.

Tighe & Bond, the designer and project manager, has estimated the playground portion will cost $259,700 while the site work will cost $252,000. A 20% contingency will add $103,100 along with $63,200 in expenses for the design work.

According to Southwick Town Planner Alan Slessler, the specific request for the special permit will be a modification for a special use. Slessler pointed out that the construction of the parking lot and the playscape will disrupt a little more than an acre of land. Slessler also added that the district is having lights installed in the parking lot at Powder Mill School. The lighting will be a small, colonial style of lighting that will shine on the parking lot but will not be a nuisance to any residences nearby.

At their meeting on April 3, the CPC (Community Preservation Committee) approved the wording for a warrant article that will provide funding for the project. The article is to see if voting residents will allow the CPC to take $140,000 out of their open space funds in order to help fund the project.

Slessler sees the process for the parking lot and the playscape as a success so far.

“The plans are very professionally done,” said Slessler. “The plans are all in order.”

If the special permit is approved on Tuesday, there will be a 21-day appeal period for anyone to appeal the project. If the 21 days passes and there’s no appeal, the school district will be able to proceed and begin construction if they choose.

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