WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Yentile Farm Development Committee met for two hours at Town Hall last night. Here’s four pieces of news coming out of that meeting:
1.) Green International, the engineering firm tasked with designing a recreational complex at 9 Cross Street, has agreed to work with Town Manager Jeff Hull and Assistant Town Manager Kendra Amaral, to determine if a proposed playground from the Where Angels Play Foundation can be incorporated into the project. The playground would be constructed in memory Wilmington fallen hero Sean Collier.
“The Collier family felt very strongly that playground be erected in Wilmington, and specifically targeted this project,” said Selectwoman Judy O’Connell, who chairs the Yentile Farm Development Committee. O’Connell also noted that many residents suggested that Collier somehow be memorialized at the site, per the project’s initial public surveys.
“We need to find out more about this organization’s proposal and get some details,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull. “That’s the next step for us.”
2.) When 20th Century Fox was working out an agreement with the town to film ‘Joy,’ starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro, on Federal Street last month, the movie company pledged to donate $5,000 to Wilmington. Town Manager Jeff Hull announced last night that he plans on directing those funds to the Yentile Farm project.
3.) Green International distributed an updated timeline for the project. Construction would begin at this time next year, running from March 2016 to December 2016. The complex would be fully complete and officially “open” by June 2017.
“It’s an aggressive schedule,” noted a representative from Green International. “We’re moving full speed ahead.” She noted that the bulk of the work will be completed in one construction season (March to December), saving the town money and accelerating the project’s timeline.
“The pace of momentum is key for us,” emphasized O’Connell. “We want to keep things moving.”
4.) The Committee spent the first 90 minutes of the meeting determining the character of the site. The Committee also reviewed different options for some of the project’s components, including the playground and pavilion, ensuring they were consistent with the overall desired look of the site.
The group consensus was that the site should have more of a rustic look and natural feel. (“Rustic” and “natural” were words that committee members kept coming back to throughout the lengthy discussion.) With an overall look agreed upon, the engineers will now put together more detailed plans with a more detailed cost estimate over the next month. On Wednesday, April 15, the Committee will host a “large town meeting” to present a 3D rending of the project and an assortment of plans, including site layout. The time and location of the meting will be announced shortly.
The Yentile Farm Development Committee Meeting will next meet on Tuesday, March 24 at 6pm, likely at Town Hall.
Voters will decide whether or not to approve the construction of the park — and its $4.5 million price tag — at the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 2, 10:30am, at the Wilmington Middle School.