Westminster Christian Academy is asking the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night to approve plans for expansion of its campus on New High Shoals Road to allow the school to grow from its current enrollment of 350 students to 500 students in the next 10 years.
The private school is proposing to invest $18 million in a number of buildings and facilities. The building expansion would nearly triple the size of the existing campus to 90,900 square feet.
The Planning Commission did require that Westminster abandon its current private septic system and seek sewage treatment capacity from the county’s wastewater system. The school is seeking 10,440 gallons per day of sewage treatment capacity.
At the meeting on Tuesday, the county also is scheduled to reveal the location of the new Fire Station Number 8 to replace the Barber Creek Fire Station on the Oconee Connector just south of SR 316.
The Board also is to approve an alcohol license request from Carlos Miranda for The Falls Restaurant, 8851 Old Macon Highway in the Falls of Oconee commercial complex.
Miranda, who currently holds a beer and wine license for his TreeHouse Market in the same commercial center opposite the Athens Ridge student housing complex, is seeking a beer, wine and distilled spirits license for his restaurant, which is to open on Dec. 7.
The Board of Commissioners gave tentative approval to The Falls Restaurant request at its agenda-setting meeting last week.
The Board also gave tentative approval of the renewal of 36 licenses for alcohol sales in the county for 2018.
Included are 18 licenses for retail package sales, 16 licenses for retail sales by the drink, and two licenses for wholesale sales.
Unless one of the commissioners asked that one of these items be removed from the consent agenda, they will be voted on without further discussion tomorrow night.
Other Consent Items
Also on the consent agenda is a contract for $24,980 with ABE Consulting for utility relocation and construction staking for the signalization and improvements to the intersection of Mars Hill Road with Rocky Branch Road and Virgil Langford Road.
ABE Consulting is located at 2410 Hog Mountain Road just west of Butler’s crossing and is owned by Abe Abouhamdan, chair of the county’s Land Use and Transportation Planning Committee.
The consent agenda also includes the expenditure of $51,622 for the first year and $24,600 annually for the next four years for a new Motorola Body Camera System for the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division.
The Board of Commissioners last week also adopted tentatively a Parks and Recreation Policy update for its “Tobacco Free Parks” policy to include e-cigarettes, liquid vapor smoking devices or similar devices.
The Commission also approved a schedule for its meeting for next year, including a change in the meeting time of the Commission
Beginning on Jan. 2, meetings will begin at 6 p.m., rather than 7 p.m., as is the policy at present.
Westminster Christian owns two parcels, both with frontage on New High Shoals Road.
The existing campus is on 30 acres zoned for agricultural use but with a special use permit allowing for the school campus.
An additional 10 acres is undeveloped except for use of less than 2 acres for the existing septic system.
That 10-acre parcel is zoned for residential use, and Westminster Christian is seeking to combine it with the original 30 acres and obtain a special use permit for the entire 40-acre tract.
Westminster Christian proposes to build a student activity enter, elementary school buildings, upper school classroom buildings, and an upper school gymnasium.
I was not able to attend the agenda setting meeting of the Board of Commissioners on Nov. 28.
Sarah Bell did attend the meeting and has uploaded the video to her Vimeo site.
Bell also recorded the meeting of the Planning Commission on Nov. 13 when the Westminster Christian Academy special use request was presented. (I attended a meeting of the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission at that same time.)
That video of the Planning Commission is below, with the discussion of the Westminster Christian Academy request beginning at 3:05.