Hanover Crew Team to Wait Another Year For New Dock

Hanover — Friends of Hanover Crew is a patient bunch.

It took the nonprofit, which supports the Hanover High School crew team, about three years to win approval from the town and the state, to build a dock at Wilson’s Landing, and now the 140 high school rowers will have to wait another year.

When Hanover won final approval from the town in April, Friends of Hanover Crew President Blair Brooks said he hoped to have the project completed in time for the 2013 rowing season. But practice begins in March and construction hasn’t commenced, which means the high school rowers won’t be able to put their oars in the water at Wilson’s Landing until spring 2014.

“We wish that the process hadn’t taken this long, but we’re so close that we can actually see the finish line, and we’re getting ready to use it and take advantage of the new site,” Brooks said.

The good news is that the organization has spent the last year collecting donations from private donors for the construction, and has raised $700,000 of the $900,000 expected cost, Brooks said. The group will be launching a capital campaign in the upcoming months to raise the last $200,000.

In the meantime, Dartmouth College has agreed to allow Hanover Crew continue using its facility during the 2013 season. Friends of Hanover Crew originally started looking for a new location in 2009 when Dartmouth told the team that it could no longer use the Dartmouth crew facilities because the high school team was getting too big.

Wilson’s Landing is on Route 10 near the Chieftain Motor Inn and is town owned. Friends of Hanover Crew has agreed to build the dock and then donate it to the town. The nonprofit also owns the adjacent Fullington Farm property, where a parking lot will be added and a boathouse, which will act as a storage shed with bathrooms, will be constructed.

There is also a barn and a house on the property, and the group plans to renovate the barn for winter storage and possibly use it for pre-practice meetings. The house will be used for light storage, such as flotation devices, Brooks said.

Friends of Hanover Crew is in the planning stage, as it acquires building permits and finalizes the project’s design. Brooks hopes construction can begin in April and continue through the summer and fall.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth College is planning an addition to its crew dock. The team recently received three wakeless boat launches, which are motorized boats used by the coaches. In order to store the launches, the college plans to add a 50 feet addition to its crew dock that can be removed at the end of the season, said Ellen Arnold, associate director of real estate for the Dartmouth College Real Estate Office.

“It really should be pretty unnoticeable,” Arnold said.

The college also plans to resurface an eroding ramp that leads up to the river. The ramp’s erosion has caused sand and gravel to be deposited into the river. As the college resurfaces the ramp, it also plans to remove nonnative gravel from the riverbed.

A rain garden will also be created at the top of the ramp to capture and retain storm water and slow runoff to reduce additional erosion, Arnold said.

The college’s project will need to go before the Hanover planning and zoning boards and will require federal, state and local permits. Hanover’s conservation commission will also be allowed to comment on the state wetlands permit, Arnold said.

Arnold didn’t have a cost figure for the project, but said she hopes construction can begin in late spring and finish sometime this year.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.