It’s official. The site plan for the Clarke County High School has been approved. Last night at a special meeting of the Berryville Town Council the site plan was put to a vote and passed unanimously.
The council opened the meeting with a public comment session in which only one resident spoke. Robert Larson voiced concern over the pathway to the school from Early Drive and asked the council to revise the site plan and remove the paved path from the plan.
Town Manager Keith Dalton addressed the comments pointing out that the path has been in the Special Use Permit from the start. Dalton further explained, “the preliminary site plan conditions are not easily changed. To start changing conditions at this time would require a formal process of public hearings. It certainly would not be impossible but it would be a whole other process to throw in at this time.”
The issue arose on two other occasions during the meeting from audience members culminating in Mayor Kirby making a motion to close the public comment portion of the meeting to prevent further debate with the audience. Mayor Kirby ended discussion of the matter stating that the council had already approved that element of the site plan.
The Council also heard a brief presentation by Superintendent Michael Murphy who used architectural drawings to familiarize the council with the school design. “What you’re looking at here is a long low two-story building,” said Murphy. After addressing questions and reviewing elevations Dr Murphy summarized by saying, “The most important thing for the Town Council to understand when they look at these drawings is to understand that the building does fit in with the site.”
The council further discussed that the plan would be approved on two conditions. First, that all the conditions of the special use permit would be met and second that the fire flow issue would be resolved.
After forty-five minutes, Mayor Kirby asked for a motion to approve the final site plan. Allan McWilliams made the motion and Jay Arnold seconded the motion. All Council members voted unanimously to approve the plan.
After the vote the mayor thanked all the town employees, school board members, and everyone else who had worked long and hard to get the project to this historic milestone.