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The original item was published from 4/4/2018 11:47:11 AM to 4/4/2018 2:26:32 PM.

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Posted on: April 4, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Planning Commission OKs new high school plans

BMHS Plans

The site plans for the new Berea-Midpark High School were approved by Planning Commission on March 15.

Superintendent Michael Sheppard said the area would be fenced off and ground-breaking would be set for late in March. “We are on schedule,” he said. 

The Commission also approved demolition of the current school and conditional use of the property. Several code variances were OK’d. They included a height variance from 40 feet to 66 feet, access driveways from three to eight, landscaping requirements from 136 trees to 103 and 1,632 shrubs to 1,237, and parking spaces were reduced from 471 to 442.

The Commission added some conditions to the approvals. The district was asked to enclose the connections between the three buildings and to extend the French drains that run east and west to also run north and south. The sidewalk near the bus drop-off is to be extended. A gate should be installed along Maple Street. Changes will be made to the south parking lot to facilitate snow removal; landscaping and the placement of light poles will be reconsidered.

The Commission’s job is to look at the exterior plans for buildings and landscaping and parking designs. The interior plans for the school will be studied by the Berea Building Department and by the Fire and Police Departments.

Sheppard said the school district appreciated the feedback from the previous Planning Commission meeting in February where residents and Commission members voiced concerns about parts of the design. In response, he said the overall design was flipped with academic classrooms now located on the east side with athletics and music on the west. Buses will enter off Bagley. There will be two dry retention basins to the rear of the school. Civil engineer Ken Bukowski said the basins would have a capacity of 46,000 cubic feet of water. The recommended capacity for a 100-year flood is 20,000 cubic feet. “We have ample capacity if a Noah’s Art event occurs,” he said.

Commission Chair Matt Madzy said the City would meet with Baldwin Wallace University and school officials to review several options for Maple Street. The street could be closed or made one-way.

Concerns about handicapped accessibility and security will be discussed with safety forces, including those from Middleburg Heights and Brook Park. With the increasing incidents of violence and active shooters in schools, Madzy said it was imperative to make sure the new school is safe.

“We need to plan and prepare for these things and hope it doesn’t happen in our schools,” he said.

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