City of Leander OKs private school concept plan, CARES Act application

Leander City Council approved a concept plan for a new private school and allowed the city to submit an application for a federal grant at its May 21 meeting. (Screenshot city of Leander)
Leander City Council approved a concept plan for a new private school and allowed the city to submit an application for a federal grant at its May 21 meeting. (Screenshot city of Leander)

Leander City Council approved a concept plan for a new private school and allowed the city to submit an application for a federal grant at its May 21 meeting. (Screenshot city of Leander)

A new private school at Crystal Falls Parkway and Toll 183A and an application for federal money via a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act grant program are moving forward in Leander.

At its May 21 meeting, Leander City Council approved a concept plan and preliminary plat for a Challenger School location in Leander. The school is located along Crystal Falls Parkway to the west of Toll 183A. The private school group has four other Texas campuses, with one in Avery Ranch and one in Round Rock.

There was no zoning change required for the 15.63-acre property, as it is zoned as commercial. The concept plan includes a proposed driveway through the school property to connect the adjacent roads and the removal of a heritage tree.

Three Leander residents spoke against the proposed plan for traffic congestion and against the removal of trees.

A traffic impact analysis in the plan includes several traffic recommendations including the addition and extension of road lanes and updated traffic signal timing.


Leander Planning Director Robin Griffin said engineers can look at closing left turns out of the school, as requested council members, once the site development permit is created.

Leander City Council also approved a voluntary 148-acre land annexation and voted to allow the city to move forward with an application for a CARES Act Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant, which includes $236 million in the Austin region, for five states, including Texas. The city must provide a 20% match to the grant.

The city needs to name specific uses of grant money on projects that create jobs, and predesigned plans are helpful in an application, said Cameron Goodman, a city economic development managing partner. One suggested project is the expansion and realignment of Heritage Grove Road, but additional projects can be named in the application.

“Heritage Grove has to get fixed at some point, so it would be nice,” Council Member Marci Cannon said.

Council members said at the meeting and at recent meetings that the industrial land is difficult to develop on because of the narrow road without a direct connection to U.S. 183.

“It’s a really good site, Elon,” Mayor Troy Hill said in reference to Tesla CEO Elon Musk; in recent days, Tesla has reportedly moved toward establishing a new factory in Texas.
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.