A new elementary school in Holly Springs is on track to open its doors to students in 2016.
Oakview Elementary is to be located on more than 23 acres off Holly Springs-New Hill Rd. near its intersection with Green Oaks Parkway. Wake County Public School System development plans for the school were approved by the Holly Springs Town Council at the council’s Jan. 20 meeting, among other business.
Oakview Elementary is to be on a traditional calendar, school system staff said. They said the county is looking to build an additional elementary school in Holly Springs to open in 2017 and that the county is searching for a site for another local high school. School system staff noted enrollment caps are being removed from all Holly Springs schools with the exception of Holly Grove Elementary.
The Oakview Elementary development plan provides for local greenway connections and room to grow. Four modular units could be built behind the building. Classrooms inside the building can accommodate 800 students, and interior corridors and common areas are designed to handle 900 students.
Town staff said they anticipate a traffic signal being installed at the intersection of Green Oaks Parkway and Holly Springs-New Hill Rd. within the next few years.
Sheetz moves forward also
Also at the council meeting, the development plan for Sheetz at Morgan Park and annexation of the 3.81 acres on which it is to be built were approved. The gasoline service station off Avent Ferry Rd. at the Piney Grove-Wilbon Rd. intersection will include a one and one-half story convenience store and restaurant, gasoline pump canopy and carwash building.
A traffic impact study for the development took into account upcoming road projects that will affect Avent Ferry Rd., including the intersection improvements at the N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Rd. intersection, the addition of a traffic signal at Southpark Village by NCDOT, and the extension of Main Street to connect with Piney Grove-Wilbon Rd. The study found more than 60 percent of anticipated vehicle trips to Sheetz would be by vehicles already traveling Avent Ferry.
With construction of the Sheetz, a left turn lane on Avent Ferry Rd. into a road beside the gas station will be added, an emergency traffic signal in front of the nearby fire station will be installed, and Avent Ferry in front of the property will be widened with an additional lane and median, all at no expense to the Town.
During the public hearing, four residents addressed the council voicing concerns about traffic, pollution and noise. Residents questioned whether a gasoline service station was appropriate for the location. Representatives of Sheetz addressed those concerns in sworn testimony to the council.
Other meeting news
The council approved the development plan for the five-building, 46,050-square-foot Holly Springs Professional Park that will be located on about 8.4 acres along Earnie Ln. at Holly Springs Rd. near N.C. 55. Staff said the development will fill a void of professional office space in the Holly Springs commercial market.
Staff updated the council on a proposal by NCDOT to create an interchange at I-540 and Old Holly Springs-Apex Rd. Staff noted that Old Holly Springs-Apex Rd. is an important north-south traffic corridor in Town. The needed nearby bridge replacement over Little Branch and realignment of Old Holly Springs-Apex Rd. at Woodscreek are not included in the scope of the interchange project, staff said.
The council approved $95,000 for construction of a sidewalk along the Grigsby Ave. curve to connect sidewalk near the Lakeside subdivision with sidewalk at the south side of Womble Park near the baseball fields. The project, which includes the more than 1,000-foot sidewalk, storm drain infrastructure and a traffic warning device at a crosswalk to be added to the Parkside subdivision, will be constructed by the Public Works Department, saving the Town money. The traffic warning device will flash lights when activated by pedestrians, drawing attention to the crosswalk. Staff said the Town also is using money left over from the Bass Lake pedestrian bridge project to survey a sidewalk connection along Grigsby into the Town’s Sugg Farm property.
Appointments to the Board of Adjustment and Planning Board were made. On the Board of Adjustment, Bill Daniels and Larry O’Neal were appointed as in-town members with Dan Carro and Richard Madoni as in-town alternate members. The council recommended reappointing Glen Walker as the extraterritorial jurisdiction member. On the Planning Board, the council reappointed Tom Hughes and Matt Johnson and appointed Jason Weishaupt as in-town members.
Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears introduced and welcomed Brian Pittman, principal of Holly Springs High School. Pittman formerly was principal at Holly Ridge Middle School.
"You have such a great reputation, and we're very glad to have you," said Councilwoman Cheri Lee.
"I feel like I'm home," Pittman said.
Sears presented a proclamation commemorating the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis by designating Jan. 21, 2015 as Kiwanis International Day throughout the Town of Holly Springs. The Kiwanis Club of Holly Springs was founded in 2002 with the mission of helping the children of Holly Springs lead happy, healthy and successful lives, the proclamation said.
A century ago, the first Kiwanis Club formed in Detroit, Michigan. The club has grown into an international organization. In Holly Springs, the Kiwanis Club celebrates children by recognizing outstanding students through the Terrific Kid programs, hosting the Kids Appreciation Day and co-presenting the Happy Holly Days Christmas Parade with the Town of Holly Springs Department of Public Affairs and Communications.
As part of the consent agenda, the council enacted a joint municipal hazard mitigation plan, satisfying FEMA’s mandate and enabling the Town to be eligible for assistance after a large-scale incident. The council also adopted a resolution approving the county’s Emergency Operations Plan, which outlines emergency and disaster response. The council adopted budget amendments: $17,500 for fire engine repairs and $408,610 for design of Avent Ferry Rd. widening from N.C. 55 to Piney Grove-Wilbon Rd. A special meeting for a branding workshop was set.
A local student and member of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board addressed the council requesting installation of a new streetlight in the Holly Glen subdivision and funding for dog parks that are planned on the Sugg Farm property.