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Southwest Christian gets final approvals
Jun 23, 2011 | 63046 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

By Mollee Francisco

Southwest Christian High School has the green light to move ahead with plans to construct a new high school campus.

On Monday night, the Chaska City Council voted unanimously to approve the final plat and site/building plans for a 62,000-square-foot high school at the southeast corner of Highway 212 and Bavaria Road.

“We’re excited to move beyond this night,” said Southwest Christian Principal Dan Beckering. “We’re excited to educate young people.”

City staff and councilors were satisfied with the school’s revised plans that included larger windows and upgraded building materials based on recommendations from the May 16 meeting.

City Administrator Matt Podhradsky told the council that they were also able to come to an agreement with school officials over parkland dedication requirements. The city previously rejected land offered by the school, deeming it undesirable for park development. In lieu of land, the city was leaning toward a cash payment of $400,000.

Podhradsky told the council that the city was now opting to receive a payment of $200,000 in addition to the dedication of a 3-acre parcel of land on the southeast corner of the site. He said the 3 acres would allow for the preservation of trees and would assure no further development could occur there. The $200,000 payment by Southwest Christian will be assessed to the school over a 10-year period.

Residents of the adjacent area appeared before the council Monday night to laud the school’s efforts throughout the planning process. “None of us in the back are too thrilled with this high school, but Southwest Christian did listen to our concerns and did address our concerns,” said Jim Reynolds, of Oak Hill Road.

Beckering said they still hope to be able to open the high school for the 2012-13 school year. He praised the city for their efforts in helping the high school move toward construction.

“I think this will be a good long-term relationship,” he said.


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