Nitsch Engineering provided civil engineering services for the new Essex Agricultural and Technical School, a high school that will combine three separate technical/agricultural/vocational schools into one 337,000-square-foot facility. Within the 60-acre property, the main academic building and associated outbuildings have a footprint of 3.9 acres, and 11 new farmstead buildings comprise another 1.3 acres. The project is pursuing LEED Silver Certification.
Nitsch Engineering began providing civil engineering design and permitting services in 2003, when we began working on the feasibility study. We addressed a number of significant design and permitting challenges associated with the existing site and breadth of the project, including applying for a wide range of Federal, State, and local permits.
The selected location of the main academic building is on an active agricultural field classified as prime agricultural farm land or farmland of statewide importance. Nitsch Engineering coordinated with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources early in the project design in order to meet requirements for an Agricultural Preservation Restriction.
Nitsch Engineering met with Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act officials early on in the design phase in order to prepare a complete and comprehensive Environmental Notification Form (ENF) document. As a result, the information presented in the ENF met the needs of the review authorities and a certificate was issued. We took the same approach with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when applying for the General Permit Category 1. Nitsch Engineering worked with the Army Corps New England Office early in the design phase to establish the appropriate course of action and to gather information used in the site design.
We filed Notices of Intent with the Middleton and Danvers Conservation Commissions. Understanding the site constraints and opportunity for innovative stormwater management aided the Commission in issuing an Order of Conditions for the project.
Nitsch Engineering also applied for and received the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Construction General Permit and Notice of Intent from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Project Review permit from the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species; the Compliance Certificate for Sewer Connection from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; and the Water Use Mitigation Program system connection permit from the Town of Danvers.
The waterways and land surrounding the project site are home to sensitive habitats and complex hydrology, which required an innovative approach to stormwater management design. Nitsch Engineering designed Low Impact Development techniques to be used in conjunction with conventional stormwater Best Management Practices to provide a stormwater management system that provides a high level of water quality treatment, groundwater recharge, and peak rate mitigation.