June 7 2017

Plans for Preschool for Children on Autism Spectrum Approved

By: Rich Hosford

Area residents who have children on the autism spectrum will soon have a new resource in town.


The Planning Board approved a site plan waiver to the Kindle Center at 7 Cypress Drive that will allow the owner to open a daycare center on the location.


The owner, Arianne Kindle, said her organization provides behavior services to children with autism and that she would like to open the daycare center to work with children on-site. She said currently most of the work she and her behavior consultants currently do is at client’s homes.


Kindle said that during the day she would have no more than 10 students at the school and that in the afternoon she would provide an afterschool program with up to 20 students. Each student would receive one-on-one or one-on-two care from behavior consultants.


“There will be a high level of support,” she said.


She said the center will be open seven days a week to give parents an opportunity to have their children see specialists over the weekend as well as during the rest of the week.


“We’ll be open seven days a week because, unfortunately, there are more and more children with autism and not many service providers,” Kindle said. “So this would be a way for us to offer more assistance to families by being open Saturdays and Sunday, which is often when families need a lot more help.”


Members of the Planning Board only had a couple of concerns regarding the site plan. One was the number of parking spots. An original parking plan had raised concerns among department staff and had been re-worked to provide for more spaces, but members were still concerned about parking during pick-up and drop-off times.


Kindle said the pick-ups and drop-offs will be staggered and that because the limit on the number of students in the facility is small, she didn’t see a problem. Still, at the request of the board a representative of the property owner said he would reach out to neighboring businesses who don’t always use all their spots to see if an arrangement could be worked out for peak times if it becomes necessary.


There were also questions about an outdoor play area behind the building. Kindle said the plan is to put down wood chips and perhaps create a garden back there. She said no playground equipment would be installed.


“It will be more of a play yard than a playground,” she said.


Finally, the board raised a concern about the preschool being in close proximity to American Boronite Corporation at 11 Cypress Drive. That company makes boron nitride nanotubes, a high-tech material that will be used for aerospace and terrestrial applications. The material is a nanotechnology and the board raised some concern about how well the site is monitored for air contamination.


“I want to know about those particles,” member Joe Impemba said. “I don’t know what they are doing to monitor it or how often they are monitoring it. Is there a standard set by the state or the federal government? how do they do it?”


In the end the board voted to approve the site plan waiver on the condition that the town will have the town engineer look into the monitoring and testing of American Boronite Corporation.


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