Grounds Manager Matt Noyes, left, discusses the Clark Art project from the penthouse at the Manton Research Center.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals got a sneak peak of the new Clark Art Institute campus on Wednesday afternoon.
The Clark invited the board to tour the grounds and see some of the features that designers outlined during previous appearances before the ZBA.
Clark Deputy Director Tony King, Grounds Manager Matt Noyes, engineer Charlie LeBatt of Guntlow & Associates and counsel Donald Dubendorf led the the board members and Town Planner Andrew Groff on an hourlong walk around the campus.
Noyes pointed out the different plantings that the Clark has and will be making to enhance the parklike quality of the grounds and screen the parking area. Noyes said the plan is to "bring the forest" up to the edge of the parking area.
From the "penthouse" of the Manton Research Center, Noyes and LeBatt discussed the workings of the reflecting pool, one of the key elements of Tadao Ando's design for the Clark's new Visitors, Exhibition and Conference Center.
Parking was a major topic of the tour.
The ZBA members sought and received assurances that the Clark will have adequate parking to handle the crowds the museum hopes to attract. And they were shown how the Clark has engineered options for storm water runoff in the parking area.
One detail that will be apparent to visitors in the parking area: porous asphalt, which will allow water to drain through the surface into a stone recharge bed.
Another detail that won’t be as visible come the planned July 4 grand opening is plastic paving grids that will support some grassy areas that will be accessible to vehicles.
Clark officials said despite the fact that the Clark’s grounds still look very much like a construction site, all is on schedule for the July 4 reopening.
"My builders tell me it's going to be a photo finish," King said. "That's typical for a project this size."