September 29, 2023
One other Step Ahead for Inexpensive Senior Housing Plans at A.D. Grey
One other Step Ahead for Inexpensive Senior Housing Plans at A.D. Grey

Draft designs for a brand new 36-unit reasonably priced senior housing improvement by Volunteers of America on the previous A.D. Grey faculty web site in Waldoboro function a flat roof to cover warmth pumps for every unit and hold choices open for photo voltaic panel use. Architect Robert Foster stated the flat roof additionally saves peak on the three-story constructing. (Courtesy photograph)

Representatives from Volunteers of America Northern New England offered a draft for a 36-unit reasonably priced senior housing improvement it hopes to construct at A.D. Grey College property through the Waldoboro Planning Board assembly on Thursday, Jan. 26.

No motions have been made through the assembly. The presenters requested for public and board enter on the assembly earlier than they develop a closing software to ship the board.

Brian Websites, vice chairman of enterprise improvement for Volunteers of America, and Travis Drake, the group’s vice chairman of housing, attended just about. Each have labored with the city on the redevelopment in its varied varieties since 2020 by way of three referendum votes and a change in plans after the construction was discovered unstable.

Norm Chamberlain, an engineer from Westbrook-based Walsh Engineering, and Robert Foster, an unbiased architect, offered their sketch plan to the board by way of Zoom.

That plan is one other step in practically three years’ work on the venture between the city and Volunteers of America. The sale of the location was accepted by Waldoboro voters in June, however remains to be in negotiations.

The varsity, in-built 1935 and vacant since 2009, went in the marketplace in 2011. Volunteers of America first proposed changing the constructing, however a structural evaluation in 2021 discovered the constructing’s brick façade is unstable, together with different structural issues.

The constructing additionally has mildew and asbestos, which Foster stated would doubtless be remediated earlier than demolition.

All through the three referendum votes and varied plans made since 2020, Websites stated, the group’s objective stays the identical.

“Our intent remains to be to develop these 32-36 items of reasonably priced senior housing in a method that’s each engaging to the neighborhood, looks like it’s a part of the neighborhood, adheres to the entire historic requirements which have been set within the historic district, and … having the neighborhood play part of the method with suggestions and enter,” Websites stated.

Whereas functions can’t be restricted to residents of Waldoboro and shall be processed on a first-come, first-serve foundation, board members stated related tasks in close by cities have solely two or three residents who lived greater than 12-15 miles away earlier than transferring in.

Websites stated Volunteers of America will use enter from the assembly to develop a full software, and no concepts offered Thursday have been locked in but.

“We wish to be good neighbors from the outset,” Websites stated.

As soon as extra progress is made on the predevelopment plans, Volunteers of America shall be aggressive for state and federal funding to finish the venture. The group doesn’t have funds of its personal for the venture and won’t obtain cash from the city, in keeping with Websites.

Foster stated becoming the proposed 32,000 square-foot, 36-unit constructing and 33 parking areas on the one-acre lot was an formidable effort, and several other choices have been thought-about.

The draft he offered doubles the constructing footprint in an L-shaped construction stretching three tales inside the 42-foot peak restrict within the district.

Foster stated a main objective was to reduce the visible impression from the road. To that finish, his design moved the constructing again 15 extra toes and positioned 33 parking areas on the aspect, fairly than in entrance.

A draft design of the front of an affordable senior housing development at the A.D. Gray school site features vertical sections of brick and wood cladding, which architect Robert Foster said was designed to break up the visual impact from the street. Some residents said they felt the design was not historical enough, but the town’s Historic Village District ordinance does not tightly guide new building design. (Courtesy photo)

A draft design of the entrance of an reasonably priced senior housing improvement on the A.D. Grey faculty web site options vertical sections of brick and wooden cladding, which architect Robert Foster stated was designed to interrupt up the visible impression from the road. Some residents stated they felt the design was not historic sufficient, however the city’s Historic Village District ordinance doesn’t tightly information new constructing design. (Courtesy photograph)

A flat roof was chosen over a sloped one to deal with warmth pumps for each particular person unit and hold the opportunity of photo voltaic panels open sooner or later. Each the pumps and potential photo voltaic panels can be out of sight if positioned on the roof.

Foster stated this resolution additionally reduces the peak impression from the road.

The constructing itself options alternating vertical facades of brick and lighter wooden cladding. This design was supposed to interrupt up the entrance and resemble separate buildings, like row homes, in keeping with Foster.

In a historic nod, the unique “Waldoboro Excessive College” signal is became a small monument, which Foster stated would use bricks from the unique faculty.

“Our objective is to not make a duplicate, however to be delicate to the context,” Foster stated of the design’s historic parts.

Response from the board and the viewers centered on considerations in regards to the historic parts of the design and visitors movement from the venture.

All remarks on the design stated that it didn’t look historic, and several other took concern with the vertical traces.

“The structure just isn’t instantly pleasing,” resident Laura Marqus stated. In an electronic mail, resident Nancy Van Buren referred to as the design a “trendy, institutional construction.”

“I take a look at this and I don’t see nineteenth century,” board Chair Brendan McGuirl stated.

Board member Barbara Boardman stated Waldoboro doesn’t have detailed architectural requirements for the historic district in its land use ordinance, that means the board is proscribed within the necessities it might set for what the constructing seems to be like.

The constructing’s location was rezoned from the village district to the historic village district in 2020.

Based on the land use ordinance’s steering for that district, “modern design for alterations and additions to present properties shall not be discouraged when such alterations and additions don’t destroy vital historic, architectural, or cultural materials, and such design is suitable with the size and character of the property, neighborhood, or setting.”

McGuirl additionally stated an excessive amount of pushback on the constructing’s exterior may trigger issues for Volunteers of America.

“It’s a must to make these numbers work, and piling on architectural particulars will have an effect on the viability of the venture,” McGuirl stated to the presenters.

Resident Cynthia Coner and Boardman each stated one other design with horizontal design patterns, which Foster stated Volunteers of America had determined in opposition to, may reduce the peak look of the development and “soften” the impression.

“They’re all conceptual at this level,” Foster stated.

Lorraine Rosseel, a neighbor to the location, stated she was involved about visitors off of Most important and College streets. A number of different viewers members made related feedback about unlawful on-street parking already going down and visitors ranges they discover unsafe.

Boardman stated the city’s complete plan guides denser improvement within the village space.

“It’s not rural, it’s a city, and most of the people wish to see exercise, and jobs,” so long as it’s protected, Boardman stated.

She stated extra lights or cease indicators on the town could be useful, and inspired residents to flow into a petition in the event that they have been involved about present visitors issues.

Boardman additionally stated the road did deal with visitors when the varsity was working, and that 36 residents of the constructing wouldn’t all be driving out and in day by day. She stated some most likely wouldn’t have their very own automobile and plenty of may carpool.

Marqus stated she and her husband have been involved about building visitors and noise as properly.

“Visitors is an inevitable a part of the development course of,” McGuirl stated, however steps may very well be taken to maintain building autos off of the road.

A part of a proper software would come with limits to building hours. City ordinances designate 6:30 a.m. to eight p.m. Max Johnstone, the city’s planning and improvement director, stated the planning board can prohibit these hours additional.

Boardman requested if the car parking zone design would prohibit entry to the tennis courts subsequent to the varsity. The city will retain possession of that acre.

Websites stated Volunteers of America doesn’t wish to be chargeable for the unusable courts as a result of legal responsibility considerations, however would work to supply entry to them as soon as the city is aware of what it plans to do with them.

Issues about stormwater drainage can be mitigated by a degree spreader trench and observe the prevailing swales on the location, Chamberlain stated, and these plans “will get rid of a lot of the runoff that occurs in the present day.”

Ben Vail, an abutter of the property and the principal of A.D. Grey when it closed in 2009, stated a number of different steps may enhance the historic worth. He recommended incorporating the entryway arch design of the prevailing constructing and rescuing a plaque at present inside for show on the brand new property. Vail additionally stated he appreciated the design.

“Any detrimental from it being 5 toes taller is completely outweighed to me by having a stupendous new constructing as a substitute of a constructing that’s change into derelict for 15 years. I’m vastly wanting ahead to the brand new neighbors,” Vail stated.

Websites stated Volunteers of America will develop a proper software with board and public feedback in thoughts. Volunteers of America hopes to have that software earlier than the planning board for approval and start making use of for funding within the spring, Websites stated.

Designs and paperwork from the pre-application can be found by way of the planning board’s web page in town web site at

The Waldoboro Planning Board will subsequent meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9 within the city workplace and by Zoom.