Community Center final draft presented to public

Barbara Lawlor, Nederland

dawn cogitatingOn Saturday, January 11, the Nederland Community Center Site Development Plan committee presented an open house showing the various options for renovation of the NCC. JV Desousa, the architect; Elena Scott, the landscape designer; and Joel Price, a civil engineer, represented JVA, Norris Design and W8.

As people walked around the drawings, they commented on what they liked and didn’t like and gave their opinions to the committee. Some of the main concerns had to do with the “luge run” from the upper parking lot to the lower parking lot.

Alternatives to moving the old Magnolia School, the stone garage, and the metal compost buildings were discussed. Where to put the Nederland Town Hall and its eight employees and a dog was discussed.

Dale Porter, chairman of the Nederland Community Center Foundations, said the whole project began a couple of years ago when the question of what to do with the West Wing came up. There were so many ideas that a committee was formed to look at the entire center project. The committee was made up of Roger Cornell, Jen Davis, Marylou Harrison, Dan and Linda Glasser, and Alisha Reis. The committee hired the consultant firm which came up with the concepts that were presented.

After the January 11 meeting, the committee came up with a Final Review of the Proposed Community Center Site Development Plan, which will be presented this Thursday, January 23, at 6 p.m. in the Community Center. The meeting is open to the public. The proposal approved at this meeting will be submitted to the Town Board of Trustees at their February 18 meeting.

This draft proposal was selected by the CC Site Plan committee after the Site Plan consultants reviewed the comments by the public from the January 11 presentation. Comments ranged widely, but there was an understandable concern for adequate drainage, adequate parking, and better auto and trail traffic circulation.

The draft proposal to be presented January 23 is loosely based on concept “K” presented at the January 11 meeting. Drawings of concept “K” are attached.

The proposal will include: The West Wing replaced by a 2-story building facing the highway, with sheltered walkways to and from the main building. The main building will have a new west façade enclosing a ramp from the new walkway and from Forest Road down to the current south entrance.

The area between the buildings will be a terraced landscape with the town trail winding through it from the Jefferson Street entrance up to the highway opposite Navajo Trail.

The south driveway will be retained as a one-way entrance. A new one-way exit lane is proposed from the lower parking lot up to Forest Road, which will then continue the access loop out to the highway. The new exit lane will cut across the hillside where the Magnolia Schoolhouse is now, and the schoolhouse will be relocated to a more appropriate site in town.

The highway entrance, which was originally designed as a drop-off and pick-up area for schoolchildren, will be slightly expanded and rebuilt as a drop-off loop with access to the new multipurpose building, the south driveway, and Forest Road.

The stone bus barn or garage may or may not be moved or recycled to accommodate traffic and parking along Forest Road.

The east side of the CC site will be landscaped and engineered to divert and control stormwater runoff. The berm now protecting the east side of the parking lot will be reconstructed to control runoff and prevent trash from blowing into neighboring yards.

This proposed concept plan is not a building design, saying nothing about the size, shape, or materials for proposed buildings, driveways, parking lots, or landscape areas. Pending approval from the Board on February 18, the design would be the next step.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.