Wayland Town Center is beginning to take shape as evidenced by the massive structures and piles of dirt moving around the site on Route 20.
But when all is said and done, the development will include much more than storefronts. In fact, there's an entire committee in town devoted to the greener elements of the project.
The Town Center Green Design Advisory Committee has met just a handful of times, but has already outlined some detailed features for the slightly less than two acre plot that will comprise the Town Center Green part of the Wayland Town Center project.
Bob Virzi, Kathy Schreiber, Jennifer Pearlman, Rebecca Stanizzi and Kent Greenawalt serve on the committee along with Colleen Sheehan, who is the committee's chair.
Town Planner Sarkis Sarkisian said the group has carefully compared the size and layout of Wayland's town green area to the town greens of other nearby towns, including the Weston Town Green, which is twice the size but provided a reasonable idea of what the committee hopes to achieve.What do you think the Wayland Public Green should look like? Any features you hope to see? Post your thoughts in the comments at the bottom!
As it is now, the space for the Town Center Green is basically flat, receives plenty of sunshine and sits behind the main Wayland Town Center development along Route 20.
Sheila Carel is a member of the Wayland Historical Commission who has attended the meetings, but does not serve on the committee. She pointed out that the history of Wayland dates back to that area of town, nearby Reeve's Hill in Wayland and Goodman's Hill in what is now Sudbury, where the colonists settled when they first arrived.
She proposed mimicking those two hills to create a natural amphitheater.
"I thought as I was sitting in that [Town Center Green Committee] meeting that we could create this space with modern uses and historical uses in mind," Carel said in an email. "They do not need to be mutually exclusive. It seemed to me a subtle and timeless way to link past, present and future."
Sarkisian said grading the space to recreate those two hills, with a wide flat area between, can likely be accomplished using excess fill already on the site.
The committee has not made a firm decision about the grading or hills, but has drawn up some detailed concepts that include space for a bandstand on one hill, a large flat center space that could house an ice skating rink in the winter, and a children's play area on the opposite hill. In all, Sarkisian said, the hills would allow the area to accommodate more people than a totally flat space -- as many 400 to 450.
On the far side of the green, near where the play area is currently envisioned, is a space reserved for the town to build a new municipal building. A new senior center, a new library, or both have been discussed.
Twenty Wayland, the developer of Wayland Town Center, will grade the Town Center Green, plant grass and some other landscaping, and construct the sidewalks bordering the area, Sarkisian explained.
A private gift of about $100,000 will go a long way toward constructing additional stone dust walking paths, natural playscapes and some other features, but Sarkisian said additional money will need to be appropriated as preliminary estimates for the complete build-out of the space top $765,000.
For now, however, the committee is concerned with a concept and a plan.
Sarkisian said the next step is settling on a grading plan by early September so that Twenty Wayland can begin the necessary work.
The Town Center Green Design Advisory Committee next meets on Aug. 23 at 8 a.m.