CHATHAM, NJ - Student parking at Chatham High could be reduced because of the additional spaces that will be needed for the new 7,500 square foot administration building set to be built next year, it was noted on Monday night at the Chatham Township Planning Board meeting.

BOE architect William Bannister gave an overview (see video below) of the planned building slated to cost up to $2 million during the courtesy review by the planning board. The goal is to begin contstruction in the fall and complete it by May of 2018, according to Chatham Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa.

Eighteen people will be working in the new building and the question about needed parking came up. LaSusa explained that 18 spaces will be freed up by removing the "red barn" located in the parking lot of Lafayette School. But additional spaces will be needed for special services visitors and LaSusa said those spaces would be taken from students, who would have to park in the Colony lot.

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The new building will allow the board of education administrative offices to move from the Chatham Township Municipal Building, which it rents, to the single-story building behind Gym C at the high school. It also will house the Special Services/Special Education Department, which used to be located in the small house on Lafayette Avenue. The new building will have its own entrance and will not be connected to the high school.

If needed in the future, a second story could be added above the new building to accommodate additional classrooms. If that became a reality, LaSusa indicated that the second floor would be connected to the high school.

Planning board member Glen Nelson asked how the board came up with 7,500 in needed space. LaSusa explained that it was dictated by the number of personnel and office space needed to accommodate them. The BOE is gaining an extra 1,000 square feet of space when measured against the current administrative offices (5,000 square feet) and the old special services building (1,500 square feet).(See video below).

In other business, the planning board decided to postpone a discussion item on its agenda: Initial discussion of draft of potential ordinance to rezone Dixiedale Farm, Block 66, Lot 1 - No formal action to be taken.

Planning board chairperson Nicole Hagner said that since the property was part of current litigation in relation to affordable housing, it would not be the appropriate time for such a discussion. The planning board also declined to discuss any rezoning of the skate park as well.