Planning Board To Act On New Cape Tech School Site Plan

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Cape Cod Tech

An architect's rendition of the new Cape Tech building.

HARWICH — The Cape Cod Regional Technical High School building project will go before the planning board next Tuesday night for a site plan review special permit and a use special permit. Construction on the new 221,880-square-foot high school is expected to start in December.

The conservation commission earlier this month issued a negative finding on a request for determination of applicability to remove the existing entrance median, reconstruct existing sidewalk and replace asphalt 80 feet from the cranberry bog located across from Pleasant Lake Avenue, as well as construction of a stabilized stone dust path, minor grading and restoration of existing lawn, which are approximately 90 feet from an irrigation pond.

Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh said because the project involves education construction it is exempt from most requirements and will not be as scrutinized as other projects this size. The project's engineering and architectural team has met with the town's community development departments on several occasions throughout the development process, she added.

The $128 million Cape Tech high school building project includes reconfiguration of parking, athletic fields and other site improvements. Use special permits are for structures with floor areas greater than 7,500 square feet and 20 or more new parking spaces on the site of the existing high school at 351 Pleasant Lake Ave.

The school is requesting a waiver of off-street parking spaces. The zoning bylaw requires 409 parking spaces and the proposal calls for 392. The existing parking configuration has 377 spaces. The parking will be located on the westerly and southerly sides of the new building. The new gymnasium seats 850 people, which requires 284 parking spaces.

“In our opinion, it is highly unlikely that full-staff will be on site when an event that fully occupies the gymnasium occurs, and therefore we feel that adequate parking will be provided. In the event that more parking is needed than can be accommodated in the provided spaces, there are areas where additional cars can be parked,” reads the project description provided by David J. Michniewicz of Coastal Engineering Co., Inc. of Orleans.

The existing site, which contains, 69.46 acres, is located in a residential low density zoning district and contains 1.56 acres of wetland. The new school will be located to the east side of the existing building. The new building coverage is 131,511 square feet, or 4.5 percent site coverage, where 15 percent is allowed. Site coverage is 611,104 square feet, or 20.8 percent where 30 percent is allowed.

The new structure will be on the east side of the site closer to residential properties along Oak Street Extension. Once the new school is completed the existing school and parking lots will be removed.

The school will have new stormwater drainage and sanitary sewage disposal systems and industrial wastewater holding tanks. “Stormwater runoff from the building and pavement will be controlled and discharged into the ground via stormwater drainage systems designed in compliance with the town of Harwich regulations. The existing stormwater drainage system which presently discharges into the wetland at the southwesterly corner of the property will be eliminated,” according to the project description.

The planning board hearing on the new high school project is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 in the Griffin Room at town hall.