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Derry Conservation Commission signs off on Floyd School apartments

Union Leader Correspondent

February 12. 2013 9:54PM
Developers are looking to build 20 apartments at the former Floyd School on Highland Avenue. (ADAM SWIFT PHOTO)

DERRY - A proposal to develop 20 apartment units at the former Floyd School on Highland Avenue has gained the approval of the conservation commission.

The plan was before the commission earlier this year, but there were questions raised about the drainage plans for the project.

An apartment project was initially approved at the old school about five years ago but is now moving forward on a smaller scale and with a new developer, according to Nicole Duquette of engineering firm T.F. Moran.

Extended Realty LLC is now in charge of the project and is looking to use the existing footprint of the school and gymnasium to create 20 efficiency, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, she said.

However, since the project was initially approved, there was a change in what the town allows for drainage systems. The arch chambers included in the original plans are no longer allowed, forcing the developer to come back with revised plans for a stone and pipe system.

Duquette said the property does have the room for the 36-inch diameter stone pipes that will now be used in the drainage system.

Conservation commission member Dennis Wiley said he was happy with the system proposed for the former school.

Commission chairman Margaret Ives voted to approve the plan but said she thinks the drainage system may need to be cleaned out more often than the developers are initially proposing.

"We've been having more 50- to 100-year storms, and it seems like (the cleanings) will have to be done more than once a year," said Ives.

Although Ives said it is not within the conservation commission's purview, she said she was also curious how the developer would fit 20 apartments into the building.

"From the street, it looks small for 20 apartments," she said.

Duquette said developers will be utilizing the basement, as well as building four apartments in the school's gymnasium.

There is no time-line for the completion of the project, but once all approvals are in place, Duquette said she expects the project to move quickly.

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