Planning group weighs traffic, safety of Zionsville Community Schools building

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By Sophie Pappas

Robison

Robison

“I assure you that we would bother no one,” said Zionsville Community Schools Supt. Dr. Scott Robison while standing at the podium during the Zionsville Plan Commission meeting on Oct. 20.

His statement, part of a petition for development plan approval, was brought before the group in order for the Zionsville Community Schools district to construct a new 5,440 square-foot storage building at 4700 S. 975 E. The group voted in favor of the petition in a vote of four to one, but it was not without much discussion.

“Bother no one,” was the key term being used, given that this area is directly adjacent to the Colony Woods subdivision, and sits on the Pleasant View Elementary property. The petition to build a storage unit here has been a point of contention for nearby residents since the idea was first publicized earlier this year.

Ken Thompson, who lives on Rockwell Court, said he lives right across the street from where the storage facility would be. He said along with school bus and commuter traffic, it would be unsafe for anyone to add a building there.

“I see this traffic every day,” he said. “If I had a child who walked to school there I would be very concerned…it’s dangerous for people pulling in. It’s scary.”

Robison assured the commissioners that traffic would not increase, and might actually decrease because school staff would not be frequenting the facility during times of rush-hour congestion. He also noted that the school provides bus transportation for all schoolchildren and he is continuing to encourage parents to put their children on the bus instead of adding more traffic by driving them in personal vehicles.

Commissioner Jay Parks said he isn’t sure the school system is serious about complying with the town.

“In the last meeting I voiced these concerns,” he said. “There were no commitments about the usage made in writing…I wanted to see written commitments on no outside storage, no overnight parking, and no maintenance work inside the facility except for work on the building itself.”

Parks also said he hopes the storage unit would not start to look like the old Union Elementary that has been used for storage over the years.

“I have to be very open. I live next door to Union, old Union, and I know what it looks like and I don’t want that to happen here,” he said.

Robison assured Parks that ZCS would “happily stipulate those three things in writing,” and that the old Union has been cleaned.


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