Trinity Episcopal School is hoping to add an additional building to its campus that could be 32,000 square feet.
Several project representatives came before West Lake Hills City Council Wednesday night to request an amendment needed to develop the property at 950 Westbank Drive.
School officials also want to turn Blue House Hall—currently 19,850 square feet—into two buildings that total 42,000 square feet.
If approved, all the properties would cover one large area with a single zoning ordinance governing the entire 21 acres, city documents said.
Head of School Marie Kidd said the purpose of the project is to improve the delivery of Trinity’s educational program, and Trinity Episcopal has no intention of building a high school.
She said school officials recognize the traffic at the intersection of Westbank Drive and Bee Caves Road would be the biggest hurdle for any proposed project, but the school has been conducting its own studies and working with the Texas Department of Transportation to address backups, specifically by changing the timing patterns on the traffic light.
“We would also work to preserve a green buffer and screen along Westbank Road,” Kidd said.
Chad Johnson with Page Architect, who had been working with Trinity since 2002, also spoke to council members at the meeting.
“When we discussed this project with [West Lake Hills] planning and zoning commission, there was concern about a 32,000 square foot building,” Johnson said. “They asked us to look at doing two different buildings.”
The new area—whether it is one or two buildings—will be used for performing arts and athletics purposes. Johnson said if the two were split into separate buildings each under 20,000 square feet, more of the site area would be disturbed than if it was one building, and more trees would be affected.
Two residents spoke in favor of the project during public comment.
Mayor Linda Anthony said she would be remiss if she did not bring up the concern of conserving commercial space, considering the city relies primarily on sales tax revenue for funds.
“We can’t grow land,” she said. “So I would like for the council to consider saying this site [and potential project]needs to be capped at 21 acres, and that we seriously consider not allowing further expansion.”
The project was on the agenda for discussion only, and action is expected to be taken at the July 11 meeting.