Holland Hill project gets zoning approval
FAIRFIELD — With its financing in place, the Holland Hill Building Committee this week secured Town Plan and Zoning Commission approval for its plan to expand and renovate the elementary school.
The TPZ voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the project that adds five regular classrooms, a new general music room, new lockers for fourth and fifth graders, special education resource rooms, an expanded kitchen area,and a new performance platform/instrumental music class space.
In addition, the central office area will be expanded to allow for visitor control, and a nurse’s office. The parking lot will be reconfigured, and parking spaces increased to 89 spots. There will also be a separate bus drop-off lane.
“I felt it was a good application,” Commissioner Thomas Noonan said. “No doubt a lot of people had their hand in it.” Noonan said he felt it met all the criteria for a special permit application.
“I commend the committee,” Commissioner Meg Francis said. “It’s a difficult planning process, but they did a fine job and it looks like it will meet all their needs.”
The TPZ meeting, normally held at McKinley School, was held at Riverfield School, and apparently some members had difficulty locating the school, with one member noting that a lighted sign might be a good idea.
However, as Planning Director James Wendt pointed out, Holland Hill School is not visible from the road, and there is a directional sign into the school at a stop sign.
Chairman Matthew Wagner said if it becomes an issue, they can look at it, but said erecting a sign that’s visible from the street could mean putting it in a resident’s front yard.
This summer, the Representative Town Meeting approved $18.5 million in bonding for the project, in time for the June 30 deadline for state reimbursement. Typically, Fairfield gets a reimbursement rate of about 25 percent.
The project is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2019 school year.