Letter to the editor: College building raises questions

A huge industrial-style building is planned to loom over a once quiet residential street in Middlebury. To understand the scale of this building look at our new Town offices, which are 9,400 square feet, making this building almost 2.5 times the size!
Let’s also look at the word “Temporary” which in this case is “estimated to be 10-12 years,” but could be more like 20-25 years. Does the word “temporary” mean that this structure does not have to comply with our State Regulations? Act 250? Don’t we all know “temporary” buildings that never go away?
TRAFFIC: currently there is a pronounced speeding and traffic problem on Shannon St. particularly between College St. and Short Shannon as students race up and down the street to the College parking lot (Police have been called multiple times). Daily commuters use Shannon St. as a way to avoid the congestion at Weybridge and College Street and the traffic light on Route 30 next to the new College park, and there is also large truck traffic making deliveries to the College via the Shannon St. parking lot. Combine this with day students and College staff parking along the side of Shannon making it a very narrow two-lane road and a very dangerous place to exit and enter the residential driveways on the street.
PARKING: the College parking lot will lose 50 spaces to the new building. Those 50 will be replaced by eliminating the tennis courts at the other end of the lot, which means there will be NO additional parking in a lot that is almost completely full during a normal school term. The plan estimates 62 employees to occupy the building and 100 plus students. Where will all these people park?
NOISE: the mechanicals for this giant building will be directed at Shannon St. and the Church! Have you ever lived next to a giant air conditioner running 24/7?
STORM WATER: Where will all the water run to? The roof of the building will slope to the steep driveway to the church. There aren’t any drains at the base of the driveway to the street. Rain gardens do not work when the ground is frozen. The recent rainstorms we’ve had this winter are proof of that. What is the State law saying about this?
I urge my friends and neighbors throughout the Town to attend to meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at the town offices to hear the concerns of your fellow taxpaying homeowners in town.
Wendy Warren

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