Salem state college neighborhood advisory committee
March 15, 2010 – Minutes
Attendees: Beth Bower, Maureen Fry, Marcia Lambert, Joseph O’Keefe, John Ronan, Jason Silva, and John Walsh
Absent: Jack Hoar, Robert McCarthy, Kathy Neville, James Rose, and Andrew Soll
Other: Karen Cady and Leif Lamoray
NEW RESIDENCE HALL UPDATES
- Construction Update (provided by Leif Lamoray, Leftfield Inc. Project Manager):
- Weather is starting to hamper exterior progress, but construction remains on track for a July 15, 2010 completion date.
- Exterior site grading in the courtyard (excavation and soil distribution) is scheduled for the near future. The courtyard is the interior green space that is located between Atlantic and Marsh Halls. The courtyard will be largely grass, with 15 to 20 trees and a sloping gabion wall around the perimeter which is a wetland-like feature that acts as a sitting structure.
- Marcia Lambert asked about the status of the landscaping plan on the Bike Path side of Marsh Hall
- The Massachusetts State College Building Authority’s landscape architect is designing concepts for screening the bike path and neighborhood from Marsh Hall. The college is hoping to present these designs at the next SSCNAC meeting.
- The college reminded the committee that when discussing this topic in previous public meetings, there were competing suggestions and concerns from those who use the bike path and those who live next to it. The college asserted that they will work with the city, SSCNAC and interested parties to derive the solution that best addresses concerns expressed by the public.
HVAC SYSTEM AT BUILDING 1 UPDATE
- Beth Bower and Andrew Soll met with Mr. and Mrs. Eugenio last Thursday regarding solutions to their concerns with the cooling tower.
- The college has spoken to the installation contractor and has indentified methods to mitigate the noise of the cooling tower equipment. The college expects to implement these methods this spring.
- The adjacent DX units that provide service to the IT department will be relocated within the next year.
- The college will keep the Eugenios and the committee updated on the progress of both initiatives.
LIBRARY & LEARNING COMMONS UPDATE
- Existing Library Demolition
- The relocation of the electrical service that runs through the existing library building and connects the street to five buildings on campus will be the first step in this process. The college expects that this work will be bid in the next month. The college will then be able to share more information on the means and methods as they are not determined at this time. The only off-campus work for this phase will involve two electrical poles: one on Lafayette Street and one on Loring Avenue.
- The committee requested a follow up meeting to discuss demolition as it is the biggest concern of the neighborhood. The college will alert the committee when the Division of Capital Asset Management’s demolition plan is designed and they are available to present it to the SSCNAC so that committee members are able to notify their constituents to the meeting time.
FORMER WEIR PROPERTY UPDATE
- The college is still in the process of purchasing the property and will continue to lease it until the process is complete. There will be no movement toward the Sasaki plan until the property is purchased.
- The large blue building is primarily used for storage. As of now, it is housing the majority of the materials from the library and will do so until the new library is constructed.
- The brick building is being renovated for Information Technology Services and the Music Department’s practice and ensemble rooms. The practice rooms will be well buffered by sound proofing as it is necessary to buffer the practice rooms from each other as well as the rest of the building and the surrounding neighborhood.
- Within the next month, it is expected that the gas company will connect the property to a gas line under Loring Avenue. This project falls under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Highway Division and will be subject to their standard procedures. The college will alert the neighborhood and the committee through the email blast and the Web site as soon as it becomes aware of the timing of this work.
HORACE MANN SCHOOL
- John Walsh asked if the college had plans for the Horace Mann building. The college stated that there have been no conversations with the city regarding the building and that the college is happy to have the school on campus. The college has the same information as the rest of the community and fully understands the financial challenges faced by the city. It will support whatever decisions the city and superintendent deem necessary.
- Jason Silva noted that no decisions have been made regarding the future of the Horace Mann School and confirmed that there have been no discussions between the city and the college on this topic. He added that the arrangement for the college’s contribution to the principal’s salary and its building maintenance is part of the college’s SILOT (Services in Lieu of Taxes) agreement with the city.
- Salem State College Baseball: Opening day of SSC baseball is March 22 at 3 pm against Brandeis University. Councillor O’Keefe asked if the Athletics Department reached out to opposing teams regarding parking as they did last year. The college confirmed that information regarding baseball parking was distributed to all opposing teams.
- Off-Campus Parties:
- Marcia Lambert gave an overview of concerns raised at the South Salem Neighborhood Association (SSNA) meeting on Tuesday, March 9 with Chief Tucker and representatives from the Community Impact Unit (CIU) as well as the college. She stated that because the police department is short staffed, they are not responding to all calls. She also noted that neighbors are concerned with a gap between the police department and the college. Jason Silva encouraged the neighbors to continue to call Salem Police when there is an issue. On the chance that the police department does not respond, the complaint will still be logged in the system which the CIU monitors for repeat complaints.
- Ms. Lambert stated that the language the college provided on the process was helpful and that SSNA president Jim Rose would like to email it to all members. (Attached language was sent to Jim Rose.)
- John Walsh raised concern with 96 Broadway. He has spoken with the residents who live there and confirmed that they are students at Salem State. The college will follow up with Student Life to see if we have had any police reports on this house.
- The next meeting of the SSCNAC will take place on Monday, April 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the Enterprise Center Training Room B located on Central Campus at 121 Loring Avenue.