Two-Lane Paved Emergency Access Road Off the Table

HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead School Board voted to scrap the proposed two-lane, hard topped access road to the middle school and charged the Facilities Committee with exploring all suggested options and returning to the board with a new proposal.
The board made it clear it wants a single lane, gravel, gated emergency access road, which is what was initially asked for by Fire and Police.

The board and Assistant Superintendent Roxanne Wilson reviewed the input received from a public forum, past discussions and the recent Facilities Committee meeting. Wilson said the consensus is that the focus for the project should be returned to the original intent – to develop the one-lane gravel, gated emergency access roadway.
She said there are no specifics for the single lane option and a solid cost estimate will have to be sought. It was pointed out that at no time has anyone from the public spoken in favor of a two-lane, paved road.
The board went further, suggesting that the various options that have surfaced from abutters and the general public should be examined. The board wants the administration and Facilities Committee to explore all options and come up with a new plan that best meets the needs and is most cost effective.
Among the options to be looked at are possible right-of-way accesses across private land between the school and Agawam, and contact with the Catholic Diocese about using the road that goes across its land. The board does not know if these options can be properly explored and a plan for the eventual proposal engineered in time for this year’s warrant article.
Member Jason Cipriano expressed concern over a delay in moving forward with an emergency access roadway from a safety standpoint. However, it was pointed out there have been no emergencies over the life of the school building without a second emergency access, and it is important to explore all alternatives and get a plan developed that best suits the need.
The board unanimously approved declining to accept the current proposal for the two-lane roadway and charged the Facilities Committee with exploring all options and returning with a new engineered plan with costs.
The board made clear that if that can be done in time to put in a warrant article for the March Town Meeting, that is its preference, but they wanted all options explored for a single-lane gravel, gated emergency access road.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.