New additions to Schultz Elementary are nearing final approval as Delaware City Council heard the first reading of the combined Preliminary and Final Development Plan for the project during its Monday meeting.
Proposed is a 15,062-square-foot expansion to the school’s south wing and a 1,600-square-foot addition just south of the school’s kitchen area.
As part of the project, Penick Avenue will be extended to Cobblestone Drive to connect the Delaware Meadows subdivision to the east and the Sunnyview Farms subdivision to the west.
In addition to the proposed add-ons, a bus drop-off and turnaround will also be constructed north of the Penick Avenue extension. The loop will separate the bus traffic from the car drop-off and employee access off Applegate Lane.
Delaware Planning Commission unanimously approved the combined Preliminary and Final Development Plan for the planned expansion to the southern portion of the school’s existing footprint during its Dec. 4 meeting.
The extension of Penick Avenue has been on the city’s thoroughfare plan for years, just without a need such as the proposed bus loop to put the process in motion.
Questions surrounding who will pay for that extension were raised during the planning commission meeting, and the answer to that question appears to be the only thing left to decide before the plan is approved. City Manager Tom Homan said the city and the school district are in discussions on a “cost-sharing arrangement” for the road extension project, adding, “I think we can work something out that is fair to both the school and the city.”
Homan later said the preliminary timeframe for the construction of the Penick Avenue extension is for 2021.
Asked by Councilwoman Lisa Keller if the new bus drop-off would allow for more space for parent drop-off at the current unloading area of Applegate Lane, Sherman said, ”I believe so. Quite a few cars will be able to be queued up on the property and not in the street, which has been one of the bigger problems over there.”
Keller said she currently has one child who attends Schultz and another who has since moved to Dempsey Middle School, and that the drop-off zone has always been “a source of trouble in the neighborhood at drop-off and pickup time.”
Zach Price, the project architect, said the plan is for the project to go out to bid sometime next month. Given that schedule, council opted not to vote on the project Monday, instead deciding to wait to hear the results of the discussions on the cost-sharing arrangement ahead of its next and final meeting of the year, which is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 23.
Keller pointed out that waiting to vote at the next reading will also allow the public more time to see the plans for the project and weigh in on the matter if inclined to do so.