Regents School of Oxford granted conditional use for first phase of expansion

Published 11:39 am Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Lafayette County Planning Commission granted Regents School of Oxford a conditional use permit for the school’s first phase of expansion.

Regents plans to build 14 classrooms and a gymnasium at 274 County Road 102 to house 6th- through 12th-grade students.

Precision Engineering’s President Paul Koshenina, representing Regents, said the facility will house approximately 250 students and 15 staff members. Designs also include 101 designated parking spaces, an overflow area of gravel parking and additional gravel access off the north end of the property.

“It allows for queuing opportunities and managing traffic on-site if it’s ever needed,” said Koshenina.

The expansion would benefit the school but farmer Randy Crowe said it could potentially cut off access to a field. Crowe rents the property belonging to the Shaw family for farming purposes.

“The school, I have no objection to it. It’s just that the farmland up that creek— the only point of access is through where the school is and I don’t know if any road was left to where we could get around the school and get access to the farmland,” said Crowe.

According to him, the access point at 274 County Road 10 is the only road that will accommodate farming equipment at least 17-18 feet wide.

Koshenina said the school has no plans to cut off access to the field in the first phase of expansion. However, access would be an issue when Regents begins phase two of its expansion in about five years.

“My understanding is that the school has had discussions with the direct neighbor and they intend to provide access along this gravel drive during phase one construction,” said Koshenina. “Phase two, that’s maybe five years down the road and that depends on all kinds of factors like enrollment and economy.”

Commissioner Ray Garrett said Crowe would have to get the property owners to discuss access with Regents.

“It’s something the Planning Commission doesn’t have control over,” he said. “Regents now owns this property and if there wasn’t an easement, we don’t have the power to let anyone through. [The owners] are going to have the negotiate with Regents.”

Regents’ Executive Director of Development Records Beth Paul said they will work with Crowe to figure out a solution for the future.

“We’ve met with Randy so we’ve got a plan for this phase one,” said Paul. “We’re pro-farmers so we want to be able to work it out.”

Regents will come before the Lafayette County Planning Commission again for site plan approval in July.