WHEELING – The Wheeling Board of Zoning Appeals approved six new parking spaces in front of Woodsdale Primary School along US 88 on Thursday.
The requests for three separate parking waivers were referred to the committee after a short presentation from school district officials, and no one spoke out against their proposals.
City laws do not allow parking in front of structures in historic neighborhoods such as Woodsdale.
Board Chairman Ron Sinclair and Member Robert Felton approved the first exemption to allow parking in front of the school, the second to remove landscaping requirements for a parking lot and a third to reduce the requirements setback from the front yard 20 feet to no setbacks.
Council member Jason Smith was not present.
The school district plans to place six parking spaces between the freeway and the loading area, including two disabled spaces and four regular spaces for visitors.
Thomas Wippenbeck, regional director of architectural services at McKinley and Associates, explained that the parking spaces are part of a $ 5.4 million renovation project taking place at the school. The interior spaces and walls have been redesigned and the cafeteria is expanding on the playground side.
The project would make the school ADA compliant up front and places would be established for visitor parking, he said.
“Looks like you don’t have a place to park there,” Sinclair said.
Felton asked if there was a timeline for the project.
Wippenbeck told them the contracts are currently being tendered and are expected to be awarded on November 4.
“Being just a neighborhood school, parking is almost non-existent initially,” Principal Ashlea Minch told council. “So for us, getting these six additional places would not only be good for the community, but also for the school and our accessibility for people with disabilities. “
Ohio County Schools Operations Director David Crumm added that the parking lot would also give the school district a place to park maintenance trucks when work is needed at the school.
The waiver granted is valid for up to 18 months and work must be started by then, Sinclair said. Wippenbeck said the entire school renovation project is expected to be completed by January 2022.
The grassy areas to the left and right of the entrance and exit of the bus circle will not be affected and will remain in place.