Milone & MacBroom has submitted plans for the track, field and parking lot improvement plan at Canton High School.
The plan, approved by voters in November, calls for a 6-lane track with 8-lane sprinting section, a multi-use synthetic field and a revamped and safer parking lot and entrance.
As the town applies for land-use approvals needed for the project, Canton Project Administrator Jeff Shea said the plans reflect some changes based on input from recent informal meetings with town commissions.
Although space is limited, the firm, retained by the town for final engineering and design, was able to shift the track to provide a little more buffer from some of the neighbors.
"As much as possible it was shifted to the east," Shea said.
The entrance was also shifted east. That and a narrower island in the boulevard creates more of buffer from a nearby wetland than the preliminary plans indicated.
The plan also includes aligned crosswalks for safer crossing to a playing field on the other side of Simonds Avenue.
A secondary access on the other side of that wetland was also reduced in scope, narrowed from more than 20 feet down to 15. As proposed that would be a paved path for pedestrian and emergency access.
The plans also show potential future placement for concession and press box areas. The two facilities are not part of the application but during an informal meeting with the Zoning Commission, members had asked the firm to show how the field could develop.
"Those are just placeholders," Shea said.
Shea said the plan does still include foundations for lighting. It is not being requested as part of the application but conduits and foundations would allow it to be added in the future if without disturbing the track and field surfaces. (Changes in zoning regulations or a variance would also be needed for lights).
Funding for lighting, scoreboard and bleachers was trimmed from the plan before it was approved by voters in November. At the time, Board of Education members said separate efforts would be taken to raise funds for those items.
The plan also includes additional evergreen screening around the field, a retaining wall to the west of the track and field and a lower sitting wall in front of it.
Parking spaces would increase from 228 to 254 but more importantly, officials have said, would be dramatically improved traffic flow. It would further separate bus cuing from the parking lot traffic, alleviating much of the gridlock in the lot at start and dismissal times.
Shea said the school layout prevents perfection in that area but agreed it would be a dramatic improvement.
Plans for the track will now go the town's land-use boards.
Due to the location of the access roads in the "upland review area," wetlands approval is needed. The Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency will hold a will begin discussion on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Library/Community Center. Click here to view the agenda. The agency will also discuss a report from Milone & MacBroom that deals with items such as runoff and drainage.
The application will also be received the Zoning Commission, which would need to approve the site plan. The commission will meet on Jan. 23. Town planner Neil Pade said he will recommend the commission schedule a public hearing for Feb. 20.
As an allowed use, the hearing is not required but zoning commissioners recently indicated they would almost certainly hold one. Although there have been changes on the commission, Pade said he anticipates that will still be the case based on the interest in the project.
Voters approved the project 3,034 to 2,112 but some have remained vocal in their opposition to it. Some neighbors have also expressed concerns on the project's direct impact. Other residents have wholeheartedly supported the project since it was first proposed.
The application will also likely go the Design Review Commission, an advisory board that would make a recommendation to the Zoning Commission.