Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

July 5, 2012

Wingate seeks to add two-story building

New construction would provide 64 new beds for Alzheimer's, assisted living home

The Wingate facility on Andover Street is seeking to expand with a new two-story, 64-bed assisted living and Alzheimer's disease facility.

The plans are facing the town's interdepartmental review process so Andover officials can gather more information and answer concerns about the project. The expansion plan was presented for the first time to the Planning Board last week.

The new construction will add 42 assisted living beds and 22 beds for elderly with Alzheimer's disease, said Rick Feldman, the previous chairman of the Town Yard Task Force, who in this project represents Wingate. A parking garage with 64 spaces also would be built underneath the new facility, mostly intended for use by Wingate staff.

The building will be completely separate from the existing structure, which supports around 100 elderly with nursing needs, according to Feldman. The roughly 36 feet of space between the buildings will be redesigned and turned into a courtyard.

That plan has sparked some concern with the Andover Fire Department, because the land today is partially occupied by a wrap-around road that allowsemergency access when it is needed, according to Jacki Byerly, town planner.

Additionally, the plans only address the construction of the new building, which Byerly said necessitates a review of the entire property.

"We need revised plans that show us more detailed information regarding the site as a whole instead of just the new building they want to put in," said Byerly.

The project is scheduled to return to the Planning Board for more discussion on Aug. 14. Before then, the project is expected to come before the Conservation Commission regarding a stream on the property.

Gerry Deyermond, of 64 Andover St., raised concerns at the Planning Board meeting about the stream flooding, which she said has been caused by the existing facility.

Saying she recently found a rail tie in her back yard from an abutting railroad track, Deyermond asked if the new construction will improve, influence or have no impact on the current flooding woes she faces.

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