CHOATE ROSEMARY HALL
Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. Chairman, Board of Trustees
July 10, 2009 The Honorable William W. Dickinson, Jr. Mayor, Tovvn of Wallingford 11r.NGchaeIBrodinsky Cb.ainnan, Wallingford Town Council 450 South Main Street Wallingford, Connecticut 06492
Re: Oosure of an Easement over a Portion of Old Durham Road Gentlemen: As you are aware, Choate Rosemary Hall has requested that the Tovvn of Wallingford release a
portion of its easement of Old Durham Road between Otristian Street and East Main Street (the "Easement") in order to pennit the development of a leading edge, world class environmental study center (the "Center") for the benefit of Choate and the Wallingford community. Attached to this letter, as Exhibit A, is a map sho-wing the location of the Easement. GlOate intends to construct the Center on 262 acres of ecologically diverse land which includes the Easement and is contiguous to the core of Cb.oate. We plan to build a LEED certified structure housing a laboratory/teaching space and residential facilities which together "We believe 'Wi11 constitute the finest secondary school environmental education facility in the world. Use of this new facility would not be limited to Choate Rosemary :Hall: the School, including its Trustees, administration and faculty, is committed to sharing this resource with the greater Wallingford community, and as Headmaster Shanahan explained at the recent Tovvn Council meeting on this issue, meetings have already been held between Choate and the Wallingford high schools as to how best to use this new facility and the surrounding land on a cooperative basis. Oloate requests that the Town of Wallingford release a portion of the Easement because the Easement: (1) runs directly through the area planned for the Center; (2) is immediately adjacent to a watercourse integral to the Center's educational programming; and (3) contains a documented dangerous road that would become even more dangerous because of the number of students doing research near the road. The Easement also is expensive for the Tovvn to maintain compared to the apparent value it yields. The traffic that uses the Easement can be easily and conveniently redirected to straighter and safer roadways that would make a trip only a few seconds longer. The principal donor and developer of the Environmental Center has made removal of at least a portion of the road a condition for development of the project.
Street, Wallingford, Connecticut 06492-3800 VOICE 203.697.23IO FAX 203.697.2512
Mayor William W. Dickinson, Jr. Mr. Michael Brodinsky July 10, 2009
We understand that the entire Easement has been appraised by the Town at $260,000. C1loate could easily take the position that this assessment is overpriced. However, we would prefer to be constructive, and therefore, make the folIo-wing offer. C1loate Rosemary Hail is willing to pay $260,000 cash to the Town upon legal release of the Easement, or in the alternative, C1loate Rosemary Hall v;ill transfer to the Town property described on the map attached as Exhibit B (the "Boathouse"). The Boathouse was appraised in December 2006 for $645,000 at its highest and best use, but in today's economy should probably be reduced by 30%. (Appraisal enclosed in Exhibit B.) The Town of Wallingford may accept the cash or the Boathouse, at its election.
As a further benefit to the ToVv'Il of Wallingford, C1loate Rosemary Hall v;ill commit to the Town of Wallingford through a binding recorded covenant or other mechanism acceptable to Town (})uncil that the 128 acres of land east of East 1v1ai.n Street, described on the map attached as Exhibit C, shall be preserved in perpetuity as open undeveloped space, except for the buildings of the Center and its related activities. The proposal set forth herein is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of C1loate Rosemary Hall which next meets August 21,2009. Please let me know at your earliest convenience how the Town of Wallingford wishes to proceed. The school would like development of the Center to commence at the first possible opportunity, so as to bring the Environmental Center to life for C1loate and Wallingford as soon as we can. I can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 920-457-4441 ext. 77777. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,
Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. C1lainnan Ene:
Exhibits A, B, C
Published on Jul 20, 2009