Planning commission expected to decide on Urbana school plan Nov. 23

The commission will hold a work session Nov. 16 to discuss the plans.

At a planning commission meeting Oct. 26, it was decided to table the decision on the plan because commissioners did not receive the completed plans until the previous Friday, City Administrator Kerry Brugger said.

The public aired concerns at the meeting, and commissioners wanted more time to review them, he said.

A big concern, said Brugger, is the school’s decision to use Boyce Street as its secondary entrance instead of Washington Avenue. Residents are worried about increased traffic on Boyce Street, he said, adding that parts of the road are “not well developed, not very wide.”

About five or six items still need to be discussed before the plan can be approved, Urbana City Schools Superintendent Charles Thiel said.

Many of these items include questions about sewer and water line connections, he added, and who will cover the costs.

The school district did agree to pay for the addition of a new traffic light at the intersection of Community Drive and U.S. 36, with funds coming from the Ohio School Facilities and Construction Commission. The light will only operate during school opening and closing times, Thiel said. It will be on flashing mode at all other times.

A traffic impact study looked at traffic flow 20 to 30 years in the future, Thiel said, and found that city growth would be minimal. But the city was still able to request the light.

The new pre-k through eighth grade school building will serve about 1,500 students.

Once preliminary plans are approved, Thiel said, the school board will move forward with getting plans for the new high school building approved. The high school will be built at the site of the current building.

District plans are for the new buildings to open in the fall of 2018.

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