North School Selection Committee, Town Administrator to Meet at Stoneham Town Hall

The session is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Hall Hearing Room.

The North School Selection Committee and Town Administrator David Ragucci will resume their discussion of the former elementary school property Tuesday night at 6 at the in the Hearing Room.

The session will be the first since the Jan. 3 meeting, when the committee met with the North School Neighbors to discuss the Neighbors' preferred reuse of the school property, located at 195 Collincote St. Ragucci has suggested splitting up the property into three sections and . However, he added that single-family homes wouldn't be the best option from a valuation standpoint.

At the January meeting, the Neighbors' recommended the land be made into "two distinct and separate parcels of land," according to the Neighbor's North School Adaptive Reuse Preferences document. The first parcel would be used to create up to three single-family house lots, or green space, while making sure the zoning remains "Residence A."

The second parcel, which is approximately 111,850 square feet, would be for developed for either assisted living, single-family homes or town houses. Of the 111,850 square feet of space, 77,300 square feet would be pegged for development.

Assisted Living

If the town opted for assisted living, the Neighbors' plan calls for a 20-foot buffer for abutters living on Colonial Court, Steele Street and Broadway. The group also would prefer to see less than 50 units, with none of them taller than the existing school building and the design "aesthetically consistent with the neighborhood." The landscaping, lighting and parking should also be similar to that of a single-family home neighborhood, according to the plan.

Single-Family Homes

"The number of homes, lot size, and square footage should be consistent with existing Residence A Town Zoning Code and the committee should allow developers to present their plans to maximize the value of the land," read the plans.

Town Houses

Much like with the assisted living option, the Neighbors' prefer to see the lot developed within existing town zoning code, while the structures would need to blend with the neighborhood and the parking, landscaping and lighting resemble those found in a single-family home neighborhood.

What Happens to the North School?

"It is our opinion that the best use of the property would involved the deconstructing the North School building," read the plan. "This is based on research and information provided throughout the request for proposal (RFP) process. However, if a builder was to present a viable option that would include incorporating the existing building, we would be amenable to considering it.

"We feel that the deconstruction requirements should not be cost prohibitive to a builder. A lower deconstruction cost would invite more bids and choices for the Town of Stoneham."

What's on Tap for Tuesday's Meeting?

The committee and Ragucci are expected to discuss zoning RFP and project timeline at the Tuesday evening session, according to the agenda.


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