West Chester school move blocked by zoning board

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West Chester school move blocked by zoning board

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Community Montessori School in Olde West Chester had hoped to purchase the historic Station Road Schoolhouse Park property on Station Road. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Plans for moving a West Chester Twp. Montessori school have been blocked by zoning board defeat.

Officials from the Community Montessori School in Olde West Chester had hoped to purchase a nearby historic school house and its property to expand its enrollment and grades offered.

The West Chester Township Zoning Board, however, voted 3-1 against the move, with one member absent from the vote.

It ends for now any plans the Montessori school — currently located at 9035 Cincinnati Dayton Road — had to purchase the township’s Station Road Schoolhouse site less than a half-mile away on Station Road.

But school officials told the Journal-News they will continue to explore other moving options.

Zoning officials cited traffic concerns from the narrow and curvy, two-lane road in front of the historical site property.

“We were definitely disappointed,” said school owner Jamie Minniear, whose 50-student school instructs 3-year-olds through the fourth grade.

Minniear said her school was going to build a 3,800-square-foot addition onto the historic school house at the site and expand its academic offerings up to the sixth grade.

The whole project, including the purchase price, was going to be around $750,000, according to Minniear.

“This is definitely a setback for our plans, but we are going to continue our search,” she said.

West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch echoed Minniear’s disappointment.

“I was a little disappointed because I was all for it,” said Welch.

The trustees had agreed to sell the property to her for $250,000.

Minniear said it’s too early to publicly discuss what other locations the school might investigate for a move.

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