Town Grants School Use of Mosby Blvd. for Construction Traffic

Mosby Blvd. entrance will now be the primary entrance to the new high school. Photo credit Mike Dowling

As construction winds down at the new Clarke County High School, a logistical challenge has forced the School Board to ask the Town for permission to use Mosby Blvd. for construction traffic access to the site. The Special Use Permit that was approved for the project forbids construction traffic to use Mosby Blvd. “without prior written approval from the Town Council.” At last night’s meeting the School Board asked for that approval from the Town.

The request would allow contractors to use Mosby to access the site for the remainder of the project. The initial restriction imposed by the Town was intended to keep all construction traffic off of Mosby Blvd which cuts through the Battlefield Estates subdivision. Residents and town officials felt it would not be safe to have construction traffic traveling through the neighborhood. At this juncture, both the Town and the School Board feel that the traffic load will be light and that the logistical situation merits a change in plans.

School Board Member Robina Bouffault explained via email, “During construction, Shockey had opened up a lane between the bus loop entrance to the student parking, so all traffic came in on Main Street, and could park directly in the student parking facility. That lane has now been closed, because in the final design, the bus loop is totally separate from normal car traffic, and all traffic must come via Mosby.”

In addition all of the school parking and traffic lanes must now be paved.  The final access design restricts access so some paving operations will need to access the site form Mosby Blvd. Also, what is now the terminus to Mosby needs to be paved by Battlefield Estates developer, Alton Echols. To ensure a minimum number of pavement transitions that paving needs to coincide with the paving operations at the school site and this can only be accessed via Mosby as well.

After paving is complete the new entrance will  provide access to the site to complete all of the fitting and installation work that must be done after the substantial construction is completed. Ms. Bouffault said that the paving work was tentatively scheduled to begin this week and that heavy truck traffic would be finished at the project site before Christmas.

Mayor Kirby, who lives on Mosby Blvd. was open to the idea. “I don’t have a problem going ahead with this request by the School Board.” Referring to the impending pavement work Mayor Kirby commented saying, “I live on Mosby Blvd. and I probably won’t even notice the work. It might all occur in one day’s time.”

Other council members sought clarification as to what kind of traffic would be traveling the road for the remainder  of the project. Ms. Bouffault responded to the councils questions saying that after the heavy work was completed over the next few weeks, the traffic would primarily be installers in vans and light trucks.

Satisfied with what they heard the council sought a motion. Councilman Allen Kitselman  made the motion to approve the written letter allowing the School Board to use Mosby Blvd. for construction traffic. Councilman Larry Russell seconded the motion. The Council voted unanimously to approve the motion.

In other Town Council matters:

A text amendment and a Special Use Permit were approved by the Council that will allow a cabinet shop to open in the building owned by Jay Hillerson on the property behind Berryville Hardware. The town included language in the final motion that would restrict the hours of operation to between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm and also mandated that there be no exterior dust collection devices at the site.

Blight abatement action was postponed while the planning commission makes sure they have taken all the steps necessary to move the process forward to condemn the property on 23 Josephine Street. Planning will address the remaining issues at their meeting this month and the issue will then be forwarded to the town council in January.

The Council set a public hearing for next month on the rental of the cottage next to the Barns of Rose Hill. The property is part of the Town and the Barns of Rose Hill is seeking a 1 year contract to use the cottage for office space or perhaps a resident artist for the Barns. The proposed fee would be $6000 for one year. The council set a public hearing on the matter for next month.