Expansion could soon be coming to Robert F. Schultz Elementary School in Delaware. On Wednesday, the Delaware Planning Commission approved a combined Preliminary and Final Development Plan for the planned expansion to the southern portion of the school’s existing footprint.
Built in 1994, Schultz was most recently expanded in 2014. Now proposed is a 15,062-square-foot expansion to its 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 additions, 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.
City of Delaware Planning and Community Development Director Dave Efland called the additions to Schultz the “second round of modern expansions and updates to the schools, starting with Schultz.”
Carrie Forman, a project engineer for the city, said the extension of Penick Avenue has been a planned road for some time as part of the city’s thoroughfare plan, “depending on when it could progress.”
Forman said negotiations between the city and the school district are still ongoing in regard to who will pay for the road’s construction, although Efland said the city will pay for the construction as it has been a part of Delaware’s thoroughfare plan for some time, just without any previous need to act on it.
Forman called the timing of the Schultz expansion and the extension of the road “a very good opportunity at this time.”
Commissioner Jim Halter asked about the land that will be south of the Penick Avenue extension, which is currently unused. Jason Sherman, who serves as the director of facilities and transportation for Delaware City Schools, said that if that land is to be used in the future, he would guess it would be purposed for some sort of recreational activities and not for any type of additional building construction.
Sherman added the land is “kind of a wetland,” and it would be difficult to build much on it.
As for how the bus loop will be constructed to be able to handle the traffic it will see daily, Sherman said, “We looked at this bus loop in comparison to the ones we’ve done at Woodward (Elementary) and the one that exists at Carlisle (Elementary), and we’ve used some similar dimensions so that the buses can travel within the loop safely. And, also, the radius coming in and out of (Penick Avenue) is sufficient that we can turn a bus without backing up or driving over a curb.”
Sherman added, “It works out really well at Woodward, so that’s the model we used.”
The proposal was approved unanimously and will now go before Delaware City Council for final approval.
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