New Youth Services Detention Center on Gregory Street
This webpage will serve to update those concerned about the DYS proposed construction project. Please check back regularly for updates.
In 2013 it was announced that the state was planning to build a new Department of Youth Services detention center off Gregory Street in Middleton at the site of the old "Middleton Colony." This new building will replace older buildings that have housed the Department of youth Services for the past 40 years. The plans showed a two-story building with three wings that will hold up to 45 juvenile offenders. In addition, this site will also serve as headquarters for the Department of Youth Services Northeast Region and its staff.
This site is one of the most pristine and picturesque pieces of land in Middleton. It sits at the crest of a gently rolling hill overlooking the Ipswich River and is surrounded by corn fields and tree lined residential streets. A public community garden is located across Gregory Street from the DYS site.
August 13, 2013:
At the request of the Town of Middleton, a public meeting was held on August 13, 2013 to review Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance’s (DCAMM) plans for the former "Middleton Colony." The following issues were discussed at this meeting:
- Removal of extensive tree and shrub buffer
- Construction truck traffic
- Water and gas line installation/repair on Gregory Street
- Possible use of DYS gymnasium by public
- Establishment of publicly accessible walking trail/path on DYS property
- Lighting and signage
As a result of this meeting, the Town of Middleton made the following requests:
- The Town should be provided five (5) detailed copies of the landscaping and lighting and signage plans included within the construction documents for further review
- DCAMM should confirm that all construction traffic, particularly truck traffic, be directed to use internal roads within Danvers State Hospital for access to the site
- DCAMM and ICON should submit detailed plans of any water line repair or upgrade to the Danvers and Middleton Water Divisions for further review and approval to avoid disruption, contamination, hydraulic, and pressure issues within the two community water supply systems
- DCAMM should schedule a meeting with National Grid to review plans with town officials for the installation of this gas line and explore the opportunity to serve Deacon Drive while minimizing degradation to the surface and road base of Gregory Street
- DCAMM, DYS, and Dimeo Construction should review opportunities for constructing an informal walking path around the perimeter of the property for public use
February 3, 2014:
Since that meeting, the State held a site visit on a cold windy November day at dusk with Town officials. A full set of landscape plans were finally delivered to the Town on February 3, 2014 (see site plan superimposed on aerial view of site below).
These plans showed that DCAMM intends to clear cut many of the existing tree buffers on site. At the same time, the state informs the Town that they cannot route all traffic through the south end of Gregory Street toward Danvers as the Town requested in August; however, the state has designated the Danvers route as the primary route to Route 1 and Route 95. Route 62 (through Middleton) will be the secondary route.
February 10, 2014:
On February 10, 2014, two days before the scheduled site visit to inventory trees and eight days before the scheduled Conservation Commission public meeting scheduled to discuss the proposed removal of the existing trees, the Town was informed by the state that construction on site will begin the week of February 17. The Town subsequently reached out to local legislative delegation for help in delaying the start of the construction until after the scheduled Conservation Commission meeting. The state agreed to delay the start of construction until after the meeting.
February 18, 2014:
The Conservation Commission hosted a public meeting held on February 18, 2014 which, unfortunately, coincided with a classic New England snowstorm. However, over 40 concerned residents, state officials, and politicians braved the weather and attended the meeting to listen to the Conservation Commission's proposed amendments to DCAMM’s landscape plan and to comment on the state's plan. As a result of this meeting, state officials agreed to form a taskforce to examine various options for addressing the Town's concerns.
February 25, 2013
The DYS-Trees Taskforce is formed and the first meeting is scheduled on March 3, 2014. Members include:
Town of Middleton:
Ryan Ferrera, Assistant Town Administrator
Judith Schmitz, Conservation Agent
Katrina O'Leary, Planning
Dennis O'Brien, 9 Gregory
Carey Ann Gallini, 23 Gregory
Chester Pazdziorny, 17 Gregory
Division of Capital Asset Management
Dimeo Construction Company:
John LaRose, Sr. Project Mgr.
Ned Collier, Principal
Department of Youth Services:
March 3, 2014
DCAMM presents a significantly revised plan that will reduce the number of mature trees removed from approximately 155 to 40, which will result in maintaining nearly 75% of the existing mature tree buffer. There will also be additional landscape screening planted on the site which will supplement the existing tree buffer.