Progress on the new high school continues at a pace that is well ahead of schedule and Shockey Construction wants to know if a temporary entrance mandated by the Special Use Permit will really be needed. According to Town Manger Keith Dalton, representatives from Shockey contacted the town regarding the planned temporary entrance off of Main Street near Tom Whitacre Circle to determine whether it actually needs to be constructed in order to meet the Special Use Permit conditions to obtain a certificate of occupancy for the school. The Special Use Permit granted for the new Clarke County High School contained a specific condition regarding access to the school property. It was intended to ensure that the new school would be served by three permanent points of vehicular access, one from West Main Street and two from Mosby Blvd. A subsection of that condition provides for construction of a temporary entrance off of Main Street to serve as the third entrance until a second Mosby entrance can be built.
The temporary entrance is part of the High School bid and Shockey is willing to construct it. However, if the Town Council determines that the second permanent access from Mosby Blvd. will be completed in a timely manner, the temporary entrance could be eliminated from the project. The elimination of the temporary entrance would provide a significant cost savings to the Clarke County Public Schools.
At their Tuesday March, 8th meeting the council needed to determine the likelihood that Mosby Blvd. would actually be completed.
All signs from VDOT indicate that Mosby is indeed on track to be completed, but Keith Dalton pointed out that, “No one will really know until the bids are unsealed for the project.” This is because there is a very limited budget available for construction of the road and if bids are over the budget for the project, there will be no additional funds and the project could be scuttled.
The Town Council does have the flexibility to permit occupancy of the High School without the temporary entrance if, according to the language in the Special Use Permit, “Town Council determines that the second permanent access from Mosby Blvd. will be completed in a timely manner.” If all goes as planned VDOT says they expect to have Mosby Blvd. substantially complete in August 2012.
Even if the road was not completed, the Special Use Permit would still require the addition of a third permanent entrance off of Main Street by 2016.
A motion was made by Town Recorder, Jay Arnold and was seconded by Ward Three Council Member, Mary Daniel. The council passed the motion unanimously. The School Board will now have the option to delete the temporary entrance from the project.
In other news:
- The U.S. Census data is in and according to the numbers, the Town of Berryville grew 42% in the last decade. This places the Town’s population at 4,185. Virginia laws change significantly when a town’s population exceeds 3, 500. Town Manager Keith Dalton said the town staff was reviewing the specific requirements and would present detailed information at the next town meeting.
- Council approved a motion to pursue a $5K Virginia Commission for the Arts Local Government Challenge Grant in matching funds for Berryville Main Street.
- The Business Incubator also moved forward as the council approved the lease for the second story space above the Firehouse Gallery.
- Also, capital improvement projects are moving right forward as construction on the sewage treatment plant proceeds on schedule and all of the pipe has been laid for the outfall line. Remaining work on the pipeline consists of restoration of property affected by the work.