Planning Board approves special permit for Powder Mill project

SOUTHWICK – The Planning Board approved a special permit at their Tuesday night meeting for the playscape and parking lot project at Powder Mill School.

According to Southwick Town Planner Alan Slessler, he will now write up a decision for the special permit and then the Planning Board will vote on it at their next meeting on May 7. If the Planning Board votes in favor of the decision, a 21-day appeal period will follow. If the 21-day period passes and involves no appeal, the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District will be able to start construction.

The Planning Board approved the special permit for the playscape project at their meeting at the Southwick Town Hall on Tuesday night. (WNG File Photo)

However, Slessler said that the school district’s likely plan would be to begin construction during the summer when school is out and have the project complete prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Being overseen by the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District, the project is anticipated to cost $678,000. The project consists of a new playground and an outdoor learning space with a new rubber surface. The work on the playground will include making it handicap accessible and also having more shade created near the playground.

The project doesn’t just include work on the playground as a storm water mitigation system will be installed on the Powder Mill School property along with an expanded and repaved parking lot. Slessler added that the water mitigation system will also include an infiltrator. Slessler pointed out that the playground will be parallel to the high school track, which will be perfect for parents who want to exercise but also watch their children on the playscape.

“It’s really going to be a great enhancement,” said Slessler.

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.

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