August 19, 2014MOULTONBOROUGH ⎯ A part of the Adele Taylor property has been deemed the best site option for a possible gym facility near the schools. The results of a site study have proposed using a part of the recently purchased property, though leaving a good sized portion for future town needs.
A possible gym facility by school property containing recreation facilities was recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission. Voters approved a study for the facility at this year's town meeting and discussions are ongoing.
A number of town and school representatives discussed land options with an engineer and architect to decide the best site for such a facility. The results of this study were presented during a joint meeting of the school board and board of selectmen last Tuesday night.
Selectmen Paul Punturieri and Chris Shipp, school board member Celeste Burns, Ken Bickford of the Village Vision Committee, Recreation Director Donna Kuethe, and Town Administrator Carter Terenzini met with Fred Matuszewski of CMK Architects and Ed Jansury of Rist-Frost-Shumeay Engineering for the site study.
The group identified four sites that would be best for a gym facility. According to a study memo, the goal was for the sites to conform to town zoning to the maximum extent and any use of the town's statutory exemption would be decided at a later date. The study used a basic building plan based on recreation programming for the possible size of a facility.
The group initially set out to identify four sites, though they found five after a review by CMK.
Sites 1A and 1B are wooded areas to the right of Moultonborough Central School; site 1A borders Route 25 and 1B is a parcel behind it. Site 2 is located off Blake Road in front of the Moultonborough Academy complex. Site 3 is the Adele Taylor property that was recently purchased by the town following this year's town meeting. Site 4 is a triangular piece of land located behind the MA property.
Punturieri said the group walked the sites and came up with a scoring matrix for the possible sites.
After much discussion, they narrowed the selection down to four sites.
The sites were scored on a matrix considering size, location, access and circulation, terrain, parking and scheduling, zoning, land acquisition, and costs. The sites were also reviewed based on site criteria including wetlands, soils, slopes, location, and other factors.
Burns said the selection was narrowed down to Sites 2 and 3. Site 2 was the popular choice, though there were issues with parking.
The group recommended using Site 3, the Adele Taylor property. According to the plan, the building would use the back end of the property, leaving the rest of the land by Route 25 open for any future town purpose.
According to the plan the parking lot could accommodate 110 vehicles.
School board member Richard Brown said the Taylor property is the same elevation as the existing school property. Burns said Matuszewski and Jansury said this was the flattest of all the property options, meaning no retaining walls are indicated on any plans.
Burns said this was the ideal property in terms of slope and would allow for any possible future expansion as well as the parking and event needs.
Selectman Russ Wakefield said the group did a good job with the selection process. He said the parking would fit right there, the land would accommodate a large building footprint, and the property would be suited to a gravity fed sewer system.
"They really did think about a lot of things when they considered these sites," Wakefield said.
Punturieri said the plan would still leave space and to allow the Village Vision Committee to review and give input on its possible uses. Terenzini said members of the Village Vision Committee have been updated on the site choices and the plans for Site 3.
The Board of Selectmen and the School Board both approved motions endorsing the use of Site 3 as the ideal site for a possible gym facility.
Wakefield said it is not known if this will even be done and it will have to be reviewed again if the decision is made to put something here.
Any gym facility will have to be decided by voters at town meeting. Discussions will take place amongst school and town officials regarding both parties' recreation space needs.
At the beginning of the meeting Brown and Punturieri brought up the option of having a joint committee comprised of school board members and selectmen to meet periodically and discuss joint issues.
Punturieri said this will give the boards the option of discussing matters every few months instead of just at their biannual joint meetings. Brown said this could be especially important as the town and school look into their recreation facilities and ways to utilize the facilities more effectively.
The committee could meet every few months and report back to the joint board meetings.
Members of both boards voiced their support for this idea.
"As member of the community and superintendent, I absolutely love the idea," said Superintendent Susan Noyes.
After some discussion, it was agreed the proposed committee could meet quarterly and report back to the joint meetings. Both boards unanimously approved this proposal. Punturieri and Shipp will participate representing the selectmen and Brown and school board member Lauren Lavoie Sturgeon will represent the school board.