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Daily Buzz | School Building Committee Selects a Building Site
Plus, two-hour delay for BPS today
There will be a two-hour delay this morning for Burlington Public Schools due to a water main break. The Balloons Over Fox Hill Parade will now occur at 1:00 PM; see below for details about what promises to be a very cute event!
Also, don’t forget to hit up the blood drive at the American Legion from 1:00-7:00 this afternoon.
School Building Committee Selects a Building Site
The Fox Hill School Building Committee met yesterday to discuss the proposed location of the new Fox Hill building.
Two location options were presented—one on the northern part of the property and one on the southeast—as discussed last Monday evening, and their pros and cons were weighed out for the public.
Design priorities as discussed by architect, Donna DiNisco, were:
Safety for cars, buses, and pedestrians, as well as separation of bus and car traffic while supporting the number of cars that currently use the property for dropoff and pickup
The current plan is to have a rotary at the intersection of Westwood and Fox Hill Roads and supervised crossings at key points on- and off-property.
360° access to the building for public safety purposes
Minimal site impacts from construction
Grading for optimal use of the site, use of ground source heat pumps if desired (see below), and mitigating water impact
The team also discussed the project phases—how traffic flow will happen during construction, how far apart the new and existing buildings will be, and so forth. It was exciting to hear folks talking about the practicalities of building a new school after following this process from its infancy several years ago.
In the end, the Committee opted 13-1-0 for the northern location for the site (and formally for the two-story building option), following a motion from Fox Hill principal, David Rosenblatt. All members who were present last night voted in favor of this option with the exception of Mrs. Monaco, who stated she felt that a school at the southern location would look better, provide more space for fields, and be safer for students who walk to school, as the current proposed pedestrian access for the northern option has pedestrians crossing the bus path.
The screenshot below includes some of the key characteristics for the building site option that was selected. One disadvantage is that some trees will need to be removed so the property, specifically the area that will become the bus lane, can be regraded. An advantage is that this option is $3,000,000 less expensive.
Other questions that came up:
Will fields be included in this project? Community member and lacrosse coach Jason Brooks spoke at the beginning of the meeting to advocate for fields, citing a lack of fields for Burlington Youth Sports, and Mrs. Monaco confirmed that MSBA does reimburse some for site work with respect to fields—and last week, it was confirmed that fields were included as a part of this project.
Will rainwater harvesting affect the nearby vernal pool (the blue area at the southeast corner of the property) by diverting water that would normally be going into the pool? This is going to be studied.
This option is estimated to cost the owner of a median ($650,000) home about $194 per year, an impact that is roughly in line with what was discussed earlier on in this project. Just a reminder that there are two other capital projects on the horizon (Burlington High School and the police station).
Finally, two more votes were taken last night:
To proceed with the design-bid-build process rather than using a construction manager-at-risk. The latter is an insurance policy to the tune of $6,000,000 to safeguard against unexpected developments during the project; the team was advised this project is straightforward enough that a CMAR wouldn’t provide the value it does for more complex projects.
To use ground source heat pumps, otherwise known as geothermal heat, in the new construction. This vote will allow the designers to begin looking into where they can dig the wells, how many they’ll need, etc.
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Today in Burlington
Municipal Meetings and Community Events
10:30 AM - Rustic Christmas Advent Craft - create your own beautiful advent calendar with the family. (Made in Burlington; Tickets)
1:00 PM - Balloons Over Fox Hill. From the school:
Students have worked together to create balloons based on the book, Balloons Over Broadway, which tells the story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer and creator of the Macy's Parade. Families are welcome to come and enjoy our balloon parade (rain or shine) outside of Fox Hill.
4:00 - 4:30 PM - Pokémon Club for K-5 - A great place for kids who love “gotta catch ’em all!" to connect with other kids who love it, too! (Library, Drop In Event)
7:00 PM - Board of Appeals - Signage permitting requests for Glossy Nails and CMT realty group. (Administrative meeting at 7:00 in Town Hall Annex Basement; public hearings to begin at 7:30 in the Town Hall Main Hearing Room)
7:00 - 8:00 PM - BHS Music Dept Coffee House (BHS Cafeteria)
That’s all for today. See you tomorrow, Burlington!