Methuen Site For Senior Housing Nears Completion
Extensive Earthwork: J Masterson Wraps Up Site Work at 140-Unit Facility Under Construction by Dellbrook JKS in Historic Border City
Earthmoving contractor J Masterson is completing extensive work at the site of a $25 million housing facility being built in Methuen, a historic Massachusetts city bordering the Merrimack River and the town of Salem, New Hampshire.
General contractor Dellbrook JKS is building the 140-unit senior housing and assisted living center for owner/developer Buildable Sites LLC. First settled in 1642 and officially incorporated in 1726, Methuen was heavily influenced by U.S. industrial growth in the 1800s, resulting in construction of the Methuen Cotton Mills and increased manufacturing of hats and shoes in small factories along the Spicket River, which bisects the city. More than 40 properties and districts in this community of 50,000 people are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Located at 195 Howe Street, the senior housing site was rezoned in 2016 and in early 2017 the city’s Economic and Community Development Board issued a special permit for assisted living with conditions. The project shares the parcel with a historic mansion that will be restored under an agreement between Buildable Sites and the city. Historic Sites – a website maintained by Dan Gagnon – describes the house, built in 1913, as a “well-preserved grand mansion, of which there are few in Methuen.”
Constructing 140 Senior Living Units
Dellbrook JKS is constructing two buildings on the 7-acre site, the larger one housing 100 units of market rate senior living, and a 40-unit senior living facility of which 10 reportedly were proposed to be offered as affordable units. According to Buildable Sites, the larger building includes studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom style units with kitchenette, full bathroom, closet, bedroom/sitting area. Currently the common area facilities are planned to include a salon, full service dining room, laundry rooms, library, theater, activity rooms, pub/lounge, fitness room, sitting areas, and care office.
The smaller building includes studio and one bedroom units with basic amenities similar to the larger building. The common area facilities are planned to include a laundry room, movie theater/activity room.
Landscaping work is substantial: the outside space includes a courtyard, putting green, bocce court, flowering gardens, and vegetable gardens. Two infiltration basins have also been constructed.
Dozens of Heavy Equipment Reshaping Site
Major earthmoving began in the middle of August 2018, with Steve Colarusso as J Masterson’s Site Supervisor, and Mike Brown as Project Manager. Steve Marshall is Project Manager for Dellbrook JKS.
Most of the soils at the 7-acre site consist of glacial till and boulders. Brown indicated that no ledge had been encountered, and water has not been a problem, with only typical minor dewatering required for utility construction. The contractor fielded about a dozen pieces of heavy earthmoving equipment for grading and utility construction – all Caterpillars.
“These have been used for mass cuts and fills to achieve subgrade for both building pads prior to foundations, utility installation, and finish work,” Brown noted. He pointed out that the machines include Caterpillar excavator models 336, 329, 320, 316, 308, and mini machines. Loaders operating at the job include Caterpillar models 930, 938 and 906, while dozers consist of Caterpillar D6, D5 and D3 models. Other large equipment utilized at the site are several off-road haul trucks, rollers, triaxle and trailer dump trucks, and a loam screener.
Initial work involved stripping topsoil. About 14,000 cubic yards of topsoil was removed, with 8,000 cubic yards exported from the project and 6,000 cubic yards stockpiled for re-distribution over the finished site. Masterson performed cut-and-fill of 13,500 cubic yards of earth, and cut-and-export of 11,000 cubic yards. Approximately 4,500 cubic yards of structural fill was imported over winter for building construction because of unsuitable site soils. In line with this, the contractor placed about 1,500 cubic yards of slab gravel base for the two buildings.
In addition to mass excavation work, Masterson dug trenches for underground utilities. Among these were 1,400 linear feet of electric/telecommunications trench, 1,100 linear feet gas trench, 3,800 linear feet site lighting trench, and 6,000 linear feet of utility trench below slabs-on-grade for the two buildings. The earthmover also placed approximately 2,500 tons of crushed stone and 2,000 tons of sand bedding for utility bedding.
Masterson installed the site’s water, sewer and stormwater (drainage) pipe as well. The pipe was supplied by E.J. Prescott. This included 2,100 linear feet of ductile iron water main and services, 1,300 linear feet of polyvinyl chloride sewer main and services, 2,000 linear feet of high-density polyethylene site drain pipe, and 2,500 linear feet of roof drain pipe and 56 downspout connections. Phoenix Precast supplied the precast concrete stormwater and sewer structures. These included nine drain manholes, 12 catch basins, three outlet control structures, five sewer manholes, one grease trap, and 36 parking area light pole bases.
Roads, Parking Lots Being Completed
The site contractor is also responsible for building the aggregate bases for parking lots and access roads. Subcontractor Milinazzo Paving is actually installing the pavement, which involves about 8,100 square yards of asphalt, installed 3 inches thick in two courses. An estimated 5,200 linear feet of precast concrete curbing is being installed in accompanying work.
At this writing, site work is approximately 90 percent complete. “We expect to finish by the end of October,” Brown noted.