Below is the “From The Manager’s Desk” column from the latest Town Topics Newsletter:
The Town continues to make steady progress on the siting and schematic design of a new senior center and a combined town/school administration building. The Town/School Administration Building Committee has directed architect Johnson Roberts to locate the roughly 43,000 square foot three story building at the back edge of the former Swain School parking lot against the hill. Constructing the building in this location will lead to a net increase of 57 parking spaces bringing the total to 304 spaces. The location maximizes the opportunity for the open area to be used for community events. The architect will provide more detail about the individual rooms and discuss with the committee the materials and finishes to be used on the building.
A similar process has taken place with the Senior Center Building Committee. The location of the 17,923 square foot single story building proposed for construction on the Town-owned property next to St. Dorothy’s Church has been established along with the layout of parking and traffic flow. Outdoor features including pickleball and bocce courts, an outdoor events area and raised gardens have also been proposed. Discussions are ongoing about the exterior and interior finishes. By early September cost estimates for construction of both buildings will be developed.
The committees overseeing development of each project meet regularly on alternating Wednesdays typically at 6:00 p.m. in Room 9 at the Town Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend these meetings to review the plans as they develop and to offer comment. A public forum for the town/school administration building project is scheduled for July 13th in Town Hall. The public will have the opportunity to tour the building starting at 5:00 p.m. with the meeting beginning at 6:00p.m. Once again residents are invited to participate and offer questions or comments. A Special Town Meeting is expected to be held in mid to late fall of 2022 to seek authorization of funds to pay for final design and construction of both buildings. Additional information can be found on the Town’s website at www.wilmingtonma.gov and click on Building Projects.
Town officials participated in a meeting held by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Board of Directors on June 22nd at which time MSBA announced that the Wildwood School project has been authorized to proceed to the feasibility phase. During this phase of the project the Town will work with the MSBA to procure the services of an Owners Project Manager (OPM) and an architect. The OPM serves as the Town’s representative when dealing with the architect and other trades as the project moves forward. This phase will lead to development of the desired option for a new school.
Construction will begin in July to replace a failing culvert which directs the flow of Lubbers Brook under Middlesex Avenue near Elia’s Country Store. In recognition of the fact that Route 62 is a central artery in Wilmington, the plan calls for a full road closure at this location for approximately thirty (30) days. This will permit the construction company to expedite the culvert replacement. A fire engine will be staffed at the DPW garage on Andover Street for emergency response calls during the duration of the full closure. Updates on this project and detour routes will be posted to the Town’s website at www.wilmingtonma.gov under News & Announcements.
Two electric charging stations are now available for residents with electric vehicles. Working with the Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD), Selectmen authorized charging stations to be located at the Wilmington Memorial Library and the Town Hall. The RMLD obtained a grant issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to cover the cost of the charging stations. Residents seeking to use the charging station can access a QR Code at the base of the charger that provides instructions to their smart phone.
Four long-term employees will turn the page to retirement on the next few months. Pamela MacKenzie, Treasurer/Collector; Michael Woods, Public Works Director; Karen Campbell, Recreation Director, and Fire Fighter Charles Taylor have a combined total of 114 years of service with the Town. Their dedication to the Town and their institutional knowledge will be missed. Each of them is extended a heartfelt “thank you” and best wishes for good health and an engaging next chapter.
After two years of curtailing plans it appears that this summer we will once again be able to take full advantage of being out and about with friends and family. As we return to a greater level of normalcy with respect to summer activities, please be mindful of children when they are around lakes and backyard pools. While driving around Town, observe the speed limits and be attentive to children and adults cycling, walking and running on sidewalks and everyone safe.
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