Collaboration with city may clear way for Hyde School dorm in Bath

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BATH — The Hyde School’s proposal to build a new dormitory will again go before the Planning Board on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The private high school’s request for site plan approval was tabled last November after the board asked for more information on how Hyde would mitigate storm water flow from the new building into the city’s combined sewer system.

After the board’s Nov. 15 meeting, City Planner Andrew Deci said, the school found that an off-site improvement to connect storm water drainage on the site to a separated storm water system is the best way to address the concerns.

Public Works Director Peter Owen agrees with that plan, Deci said.

The school and city will work together on the improvements in order to be more cost effective and because the work will help Bath fix storm water infrastructure as mandated by the state.

Through an agreement between the two parties, Hyde School will pay for the survey, design and engineering of the storm water system. It will also pay for the non-legal costs of obtaining off-site easements, and all materials.

Bath will use its staff to build the line and will obtain easements for the line from property owners, Deci said.

“We chose that as an option to address their storm water management issue because we needed to make that separation happen, and it’s beneficial to them,” the planner explained. “So it’s just the easiest way for both of us to do it.”

The line will run south from the dorm, parallel to High Street, and then over to High Street just south of Academy Green, Deci said. It will connect to a separated storm drain system that runs along High Street, as opposed to running into a combined sewer system, thereby avoiding overflows during heavy rains.

The 17,000-square-foot dorm will replace an existing dorm built in 1975, which Hyde Chief Financial Officer Alyssa Hemingway last November said has “met and exhausted its useful life.”

The Campus Drive building would house up to 56 students in 28 rooms, and have four faculty apartments. The capacity of the existing dorm is 34 students and two faculty apartments, Hemingway said.

Deci noted in a memo to the Planning Board last year that the replacement dorm would increase the intensity of use on the property. Added sewage flow would be one impact, while the control of storm water on the site would be another issue.

“Exclusive of some issues related to storm water management, the applicant has resolved the concerns that staff has,” Deci said at the time.

The Feb. 7 Planning Board meeting will take place at City Hall at 6 p.m. It will be preceded by a 5 p.m. workshop.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.