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Watch this space for upcoming events and postings of recent developments regarding Wellesley College properties.

October 16: College and Town issue Joint Statement

Working since last May, the Town of Wellesley and Wellesley College developed timelines for our respective processes regarding the future of the North 40.  It was initially envisioned that decisions in this regard might be considered at a meeting of the College’s Board of Trustees and a Town of Wellesley Special Town Meeting, both of which were previously planned for the end of October.  With this goal in mind, the Town and the College have been working diligently and in good faith throughout the spring, summer and early fall.  
 
Discussion of the future of the North 40 has triggered a rich portfolio of potential ideas, and the Town’s proposal is one of those under consideration.  Given the importance of the North 40 to our shared community, both the College and the Town recognize the need to allow further time to complete these important deliberations.  Accordingly, the two parties have agreed to defer final decisions by the Trustees and Town Meeting until a later date.  We are working collaboratively to develop a revised timetable and will provide more guidance on this shortly.
 

October 3: North 40Bids Received

The College received bids from a number of developers and from the Town of Wellesley.  A number of potential uses of the property were proposed and both fee simple sale and long-term lease arrangements were offered as possibilities.

September 16: North 40 Infrastructure Report

The College received a report from their consultant, VHB, regarding the intrastructure assessment of the North 40.  Infrastructure encompasses resources such as water, sewer, and electrical capacity in and around the site.

September 10: North 40 Environmental Report

The College received a report from their consultant, Haley & Aldrich, regarding their environmental assessment of the North 40.  They were asked to delineate the boundaries of the 1955-1960 Town Municipal landfill and to take water and soil samples in the landfill area.

September 10: Rollins Lot

A developer for the Rollins Lot was selected today.  The Trustee Real Estate Revenue Task Force and Executive Committee will recommend approval of this bid to the full Board at their October Board meeting.

August 29: North 40 Phase One Environmental Report

The College received a Phase One Environmental Report from their consultant, Haley & Aldrich. A Phase One environmental report is, essentially, a public records review of environmental documents related to the site.  This is an extremely large file (26MB). 

August 4: North 40 Natural Resources Report

The College received a report from their consultant, VHB, regarding natural resources on the North 40.  No additional wetlands were found on the site other than the previously noted vernal pool in the north corner of the site.

August 6: Rollins Lot Update

The College has issued an RFP to developers for the Rollins Lot property. We have listened to your interest in, and concerns regarding, the development of our property in your neighborhood.  In the time since we met with many of you in May, we have completed a tree survey of the property and a stormwater assessment.  The stormwater assessment indicates that the Rollins Lot is not currently sending water to other parts of the neighborhood, but is a current recipient of water from the street.

The information from both the tree and stormwater surveys will be available to potential developers.  The College will clearly indicate that we prefer developers who will make every effort to maintain existing trees in keeping with the neighborhood (in addition to complying with the town's tree bylaw) and who will honor the town's stormwater guidelines. 

In addition, we are providing a set of design guidelines to potential developers as part of the RFP process.  These guidelines, developed by local architect Michael Collins, make it clear that we prefer proposals that will "fit in" with the neighborhood in look, scale, and materials.  Furthermore, the RFP will establish our expectation that the successful developer employ neighbor-friendly construction practices. 

As we have discussed in the past, any potential developer would be required to submit all plans for approval through the typical town permit process, which includes opportunities for additional community feedback.

August 6: Community Garden Update

The College has heard the concerns around community garden space for the summer of 2015. While Wellesley College has no specific plans in place for our property at this time, our current timeline indicates that any possible development activities will not begin until the 2015 growing season has ended. We are pleased to let you know that we will continue to offer the community gardens for public use throughout the next growing season.  Potential buyers or lessees will be advised of this commitment during the bidding process. There is no need to start moving your perennials now.

July 28 - August 8: Landfill Environmental Assessment

Beginning the week of July 28 and expected to continue for up to two weeks, environmental consultants and equipment (excavators and boring augers) will be on site conducting a review of the landfill site. Each day, holes will be dug for test pits. All holes will be filled in before evening. Access to the crosstown trail may be interrupted during periods of some days. For safety reasons, we encourage neighbors to enjoy their walks in other parts of town over these two weeks. The Community Gardens area will not be affected, so gardeners and visitors may continue summer activities there.

Recent Updates and Meetings

  • September 18, 2014: Community meeting at Wellesley College Alumnae Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m.
  • May 6, 2014: Community meeting held at Wellesley College Club; our responses to some of the most common questions are online now.
  • May 5, 2014: SJC granted the request from Wellesley College. 
  • April 18, 2014: Wellesley College filed a request with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) seeking to remove the restrictions set forth in the 1873 deed in order to allow for non-academic development on the property.

 

Related

North 40 News

October 16, 2014: College and Town issue joint statement updating North 40 process.

 

The Town of Wellesley has a  North 40 information page; you can sign up to receive updates.