School improvements approved

SPARTA. The Planning Board gives its OK to capital improvement plans for Sparta middle and high schools and for Sussex County Technical School.

Sparta /
| 30 Jul 2023 | 11:00

The Planning Board approved capital improvement plans for Sparta middle and high schools and for Sussex County Technical School at its meeting July 19.

The roofs will be replaced at Sparta middle and high schools, then solar panels will be placed there, the board was told at its June 21 meeting.

The Board of Education has contracted with Onyx Renewable Partners for the project. Onyx will pay for the middle school roof replacement.

Most of the solar equipment will be on the roofs with some minor equipment on land near the high school.

No impact on wetlands or environmentally sensitive land is expected.

The solar panels are likely to reduce the cost of electricity for the schools.

Pool building

Sussex County Tech plans to demolish its geodesic dome building and indoor pool and replace them with an addition to the school.

The school received grant funding from the state for the project.

Architect Joshua Thompson of Parette Somjen Architects in Rockaway told the board at its meeting May 3 that the school plans to proceed with the demolition and prepare the site for an addition.

Officials are not sure if they will be able to do the addition because of budget limits.

Medical office

The Planning Board also approved revised plans by Delmar Woodport for a two-story building proposed at 200 and 210 Woodport Road.

At the board’s June 21 meeting, engineer Owen Dykstra said a mixed-use building was approved there in 2021.

During the pandemic, four apartments were proposed for the second floor because demand for office space had dropped.

Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), which has been based in Sparta for about 20 years, has been looking for a new location so the property owner asked the board for permission to return the use of the second floor to offices. RCCA would occupy the whole building.

For the two buildings, there would be 92 parking spaces, including four that could be easily adapted for charging electric vehicles.

Delmar Woodport also agreed to provide one deed-restricted studio apartment in the existing building for a tenant with a very low income according to the state’s affordable-housing rules.

There will be a maximum impervious coverage of 40 percent for both lots.