WATERVILLE — The Planning Board on Monday voted 5-0 with one abstention to approve final plans for a 75-bed dormitory at Thomas College off West River Road that college officials say will not be built this fall as planned.

The board reviewed the final plans under the city’s subdivision and site plan review ordinance.

Vinal Applebee, director of permitting for The Sheridan Corp., of Fairfield, went before the board last month with informal plans for the dormitory, which was to be built on the current field hockey and soccer field east of the administration building. At the time, he said officials hoped to break ground in late summer.

But MacKenzie Riley, the college’s assistant director of media relations, said in an email Monday that Thomas was on target to exceed capacity for on-campus housing this year — the reason for planning to build a new dormitory.

“However, not enough students ended up wanting to live on campus, so it was not a necessity for us to build this fall,” her email says. “We increased enrollment by 30 students this year from 815 to 845 undergraduate students.”

Planning Board member David Geller abstained from voting, citing a conflict of interest, and Planner Scott Fortin was absent from the meeting. Board Chairman Nick Champagne; his father, board member Mark Champagne; and planners Bruce White, Jessica Laliberte and Paul Lussier voted to approved the plan.


Applebee said at the Planning Board meeting in August that the building would be steel-framed and of brick masonry and would be very similar to other buildings on campus. A landscaping plan calls for planting two rows of trees on the west side of the building. Listed on the plan are 75 parking spaces.

On Monday, Applebee told the board that the site plan for the project had changed from the first plan to the final one in one aspect. Of the proposed 75 parking spaces 37 fall within the Central Maine Power Co. easement, and as of Monday evening, a plan had not been finalized as to where those parking spaces would be placed.

“The site plan has been changed to reflect an alternate location,” he said.

The board cited several conditions of approval for the plans, including that the dorm be connected to the municipal fire alarm telegraph system via a multi-zoned master alarm NFPA 72 compliant fire alarm system; that a knox-box key safe be located near the main entrance; that the fire department’s connection to the sprinkler system be a single, 4-inch Stortz connection with a cap on a 30-degree downspout, as required by Waterville Fire Chief David LaFountain; and that the domestic water system and fire suppression system include RPZ type back-flow prevention devices.

Also, any additional storm drainage systems to be added must conform to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s approved stormwater treatment system, and storm drainage systems must remain private, according to conditions.

The board also stipulated that building perimeter drains be connected to the storm drainage system only and that final utility plans indicate the manner and location of connections; that the developer obtain a permit from Waterville Sewerage District to include a ready-to-serve fee; that all sanitary sewerage work comply with construction standards and specifications of the Sewerage District; and that all new sewer lines, force mains and structures be tested in accordance with District standards and under observation of the Sewerage District.


Geller requested that the board add as a condition that the developer be allowed either the alternative one parking location, which would include 37 alternative parking spaces, or alternative two parking location with that same number of parking spaces, but not both.

His motion failed 1-5.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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