Documents reveal details of plan for former Waterford school

Waterford — The proposed multi-family development on the property of the former Cohanzie School includes four new buildings containing 154 apartments plus a swimming pool and children's play area, according to documents obtained by The Day through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Centerplan Companies is slated to present its proposal for an apartment complex on the property of the former school to the Board of Selectmen on Aug. 11 at 5 p.m at Town Hall.

Also scheduled is a public hearing and possible vote to sell the property to the firm for $1 million. The firm plans to restore the original 1923 section of the school and use it as a recreation facility.

"The site plan was designed to locate smaller two-story buildings at the front of the site along the existing roadway [Dayton Road] and to locate the larger four-story buildings at the rear of the site in order to take advantage of this steep slope and natural site topography," states materials submitted by Centerplan to the town's building department.

The materials include a conceptual map and rendering of what the development would look like. Centerplan CEO Robert Landino referred to the map as a "schematic design" that the firm will refine if the town approves the sale.

Landino said the four residential buildings will include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and would satisfy town requirements for minimum parking with 270 spots. Some of the parking would be on the first floor of the four-floor buildings located by a portion of the Jordan Brook watershed, while some parking would be in separate single garages with the two-story buildings, and other parking would be in parking lots, he said.

The size of the property the town is proposing to sell is roughly 11 acres, according to Planning Director Dennis Goderre.

Cohanzie School was left vacant in 2008 as part of a building project approved at a 2002 referendum that consolidated the town's five elementary schools into three because of declining enrollment and increasing operating costs.

Last year, the Representative Town Meeting approved funds for the cleanup and demolition of the school, which had been eyed as a site for redevelopment for a number of years despite objections from some who attended the former elementary school.

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