Land deeds approved; Lake Street improvements to cause temporary closure
By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The new Beal School project took two steps forward at the Feb. 12 Board of Selectmen’s meeting. First, deeds relevant to the Glavin Center Property at 214 Lake St., where the new school will be built, were approved. Second, the Board easily approved a temporary road closure of Lake Street for street alignment to take place in the fall of 2019.
Town Manager Kevin Mizikar presented the requests to the Board.
“We have deeds that are nearing final form… clarified issues as it relates to easements and the transfer of lands… I ask the Board to consider authorizing or voting to sign these deeds so that we will be prepared once we receive the final documents from DCAMM (the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance) so we can finalize this important aspect of the Beal project,” he said.
Selectman Maurice DePalo asked his colleague, Selectman James Kane, who also serves as the chair of the Beal Building Committee, if he was comfortable at this point with signing the deeds.
“Oh absolutely, I thought that our deeds as recommended by counsel made great sense. It allowed for the transfer and frankly the further requests for edits from DCAMM I think put the town in an even stronger and clearer position,” Kane responded.
The Board proceeded to approve the deeds.
Related to the Beal project is necessary road work that needs to be done to Lake Street, roughly between Howe Street and Hawkridge.
“One of the key parts of site development for the new elementary school at 214 Lake St. is the realignment of Lake Street and the constructability of that realignment. One is moving the layout of the roadway and straightening out that piece of roadway that has frontage at 214 Lake St., but also removing the hump that is in the roadway to make it a level plain and to make it safer to traverse,” Mizikar explained.
He detailed three options that have been presented by the project construction manager which include allowing traffic to continue through while the construction is in process. That would add significant cost not included in the budget. The cost would be $1.6 million because a retaining wall would need to be constructed, Mizikar said; the duration would be anywhere between eight and 10 months.
The second option involves building a temporary road through the actual building site with an additional estimated $500,000 added to the budget and an expected time-frame of six to eight months.
The last, which is the favored option, is to temporarily close the portion of Lake Street impacted within the boundaries of the project, for a time frame of about four months and at a lower cost than the other options.
“I’ve talked with the Department of Public Works, engineering and the Police Chief and the Fire Chief to see from a staff standpoint if they would recommend the full closure…. all were comfortable with making that recommendation,” stated Mizikar.
Selectman Beth Casavant inquired when and how residents impacted in the area would be notified. Mizikar responded that they would receive mailers and notices on doors beginning in June.
Kane noted that the Beal Building Committee was fully supportive of this option as was the School Department. He made a motion to accept the third option of road closure which the Board unanimously approved.