Third vote could finalize stadium plans

Published 9:56 am Thursday, November 6, 2014

The third time may be the charm for the Elizabethton City School system to gain final site plan approval for the new athletic complex at Elizabethton High School.
System administrators will be presenting revised plans for the complex to the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission during Thursday night’s meeting.
A conceptual plan approval was granted during the October planning commission; the first version of the plan was approved in September on a 4-3 vote.
ECS officials revised the plans to turn the stadium from a north-south orientation to one situating the field in an east to west direction. The complex was also shifted 250 feet to the west, moving the new stadium out of the student parking lot and over into a grassy area and the school’s baseball field.
Assistant Superintendent Richard VanHuss said the changes were made to address the questions and concerns the planning commission had with the original plans.
Commissioners had questioned adequate parking would be provided in the first plans and if the new parking lot to the west of the school would congest traffic on Jason Witten Way.
Commissioners were also concerned there were no grassy areas around the field to allow fans to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit and watch the games.
“We addressed all of their questions with the revisions,” VanHuss said. “By turning the field and shifting it, we were able to add parking on campus. We eliminated the new parking lot, which addressed their concerns about congestion. We added a grassy spot for overflow seating near the field. We addressed everything that was brought to us, so we are hopeful that approval will be granted.”
Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman said the revised plans did include more parking; the new plan increases the number of parking spaces from 460 to more than 600.
“The previous plan added minimal parking,” Hartman said. “The commissioners were concerned there would not be enough spaces. With the new plans, they are leaving the parking as is on campus, but they are using the driving course as an overflow on game days.”
If the plans gain approval during tonight’s meeting, VanHuss said the next step will be for the school board to approve the maximum amount not to exceed based on the bids for the cost of the project.
After the maximum amount is approved, then a building permit can be obtained and ground can be broken on the stadium.
“If the plans are approved, we will be working through all the final details and hope to be moving forward this month,” VanHuss said.
Also on the agenda for the planning commission meeting is a final site plan approval for Taylor Villas at 2006 West G St.
Hartman described the plans as “phase two of phase two.” He said the first phase of the complex included two buildings.
The second phase was also supposed to include two buildings, but only one was constructed. Now the developer plans to add the second building of the second phase.
The construction of the second villa building will include the demolition of a home that is currently on the property.
The planning commission meets at 6 p.m. at the Elizabethton City Hall.

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