Thursday, May 25, 2000

New road part of schools' land use

Mason board hears concerns from neighbors

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MASON — Curriculum leaders in the Mason Schools will get their own space and students will get additional athletic practice fields once the Mason Board of Education buys an eight-acre site behind Mason High School.

        The board will purchase the property, known as the Phelan property, within six weeks for $650,000. It includes a house that, with basement, has 5,000 square feet, and a storage shed.

        ""It's space that's desperately needed,” said Mike Brannon, the district's business manager.

        The house will provide office space and meeting rooms for staff development. The property is important because it will allow space for a road connecting Stitt Road, Corwin Nixon Park and the new high school/recreation center complex. The planned road through the Phelan property will provide some relief to Mason-Montgomery Road, Mr. Brannon said.

        But neighbors are concerned.

        Several people who live on Cobblestone Court say they are worried about such a road so close to their property.

        Many cite concerns about the safety of their children, and the noise and traffic. Their backyards abut the property.

        ""The thought of having a road off our den is not one I cherish,” Joel Cooper told the board of education, before it voted to buy the property.

        “Hats off to you for the acquisition,” said resident Bob Davis, who said he is in favor of a wider Stitt Road. ""I'd like to have some dialogue with you and avert the road.”

        Mr. Brannon said he would meet with residents to get their input before road plans were completed. He would also provide them with a timeline.

        ""We will be involving the homeowners directly affected,” said Marianne Culbertson, president of the school board. “A road is likely. Where the location is has not been decided yet.”

        Money to pay for the property will come from a $71.9 million bond issue approved in March. It will be used for the new high school and recreation center to be built on a city-owned, 73-acre tract along Mason-Montgomery Road, between Main Street and Mason High School.

        Treasurer Richard Gardner said the closing on the property was tentatively scheduled for mid-July but might be moved forward if the paperwork is completed earlier.


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