Planning commission approves construction of a new school building

The Oxford Planning Commission approved plans, as well as gave a special exception, for the Oxford School District to build a new building on Washington Avenue.

According to plans submitted to the commission, OSD requested permission to construct a new 89,400-square foot, three-story building on 409 Washington Ave.,

This new building would serve as an elementary school building for the first and second grades and was one of five requests OSD had in front of the commission Monday evening.

All five of OSD’s requests were approved.

The request for a three-story building was also a special exception by the Traditional Neighborhood Residential District, as the TNR only allows for a 38-foot-tall building.

Plans to construct a new elementary school were debated by the commission, with board members wondering about parking issues at the school. The concern was that traffic flow with parents dropping kids off would back into Jackson Avenue through either 6th Street or Martin Luther King Drive.

A proposed solution to this would be to separate traffic flow between first and second grade students, directing first grade traffic down Jefferson Avenue and directing second grade traffic into the Oxford Intermediate School parking lot via 5th Street.

Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey was present at the meeting, and assured the commission that parking at the school would not be an issue.

“We actually have more parking than when those schools existed there before,” Harvey said. “We have extra sports there now for parents and for both schools if they want to park.”

Along with the school building, the commission approved a 50-foot buffer that is required between a development and biking or walking trails.

High School Fine Arts add-on approved

 While the school district had its elementary school requests approved, it also had two requests concerning Oxford High School.

Those two requests, which were approved, would allow the construction of a new fine arts building on the high school’s campus.

According to the plans, the building would be approximately 40,000 square feet and two stories high and are necessary to support the needs of the fine arts curriculum, as well as provide several faculty offices.

The plans also detailed the new building would be accessible through private roads that are connected to Charger Loop and Sisk Avenue.

The building also needed special permission, as it would exceed the 38-foot requirement set by the Suburban Residential Standards. In total, the building will stand at approximately 52-feet high to accommodate a new performing arts facility.