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Ennis Daily News

School site plans approved

The Planning and Zoning Commission gave the go ahead last night for construction of the new junior high school and high school expansion.
With only two items on the agenda, the commissioners committed the entire meeting to questions and concerns regarding the Planned Development Site Plans for tracts of land 77.16 acres in size and 142.351 acres in size that encompass the two projects. Both items were requested by the Ennis Independent School District and were represented by Greg Burns of the EISD.
The most pressing issue brought forth was the possibility of the school district using up its budget on the building and equipment, not leaving enough for City-required landscaping.
City Manager Steve Howerton addressed the Commission and said the City of Ennis has entered into an agreement to assist with the cost of landscaping both campuses if the construction budget is depleted on other school building items.
Burns said the school district’s intention is to spend its budgeted funds on classroom construction first, but would endeavor not to create a situation where taxpayers and school children have sufficient classrooms but a barren landscape.
Another concern raised by Commissioner Joyce Plasek was the traffic problems the construction of the schools may create on Hwy. 34. Howerton said a long-term plan would address widening the roadway, but that widening would not take place right away.
Architect John Hansen of SHW Architects stated the way the plan is currently designed, there are several ways for traffic flow to move for students at the junior high and high school, with a possibility of extending Lion Stadium Drive to the Hwy. 287 Bypass Service Road.
The Commission asked Burns what the school district plans to do with the old junior high campus once the new one is complete. Burns stated plans are not finalized, but there is a possibility the school district may lease the building to Navarro College.
Both items were approved with the condition to modify the landscaping with city approval and monetary assistance from the City if needed.
Commissioner Joe Crow was absent from the meeting.
The Planning and Zoning Commission meets every other Monday at 7:15 p.m. in the City Commissioners Chamber at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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Posted by on Feb 27 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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