Abercorn school expansion delayed after Lakeway council voices concerns

At its June 17 meeting, Lakeway CIty Council postponed the preliminary plan for Abercorn International School's expansion. The plan includes an estimated 3,600-square-foot, three-story expansion to the existing school, said Troy Anderson, director of the city of Lakeway Building and Development Services. The expansion would include a pool, gymnasium, various classrooms and other educational spaces, he said.

Along with the AIS expansion, Redbird Investors Ltd., owners of the property to the north of the school, also proposed a preliminary site plan. Redbird is proposing two 16,000-square-foot office buildings on its property, Anderson said.

In addition to the school building expansions, AIS planned a 15,000-square-foot athletics field to the north of the proposed Redbird office buildings, Anderson said.

While the plans meet current city codes and variances, Anderson said there were a few concerns identified.

"The two items we specifically talked about at the zoning commission meeting was the location of some refuse container [driveways] and some loading and unloading zones," Anderson said. "The concern we have is that the trucks pulling in to load and unload those containers would then have to back out of that shared drive aisle."

The other concern identified was the anticipated increase in traffic, Anderson said.

"We are very willing to have a traffic study done if it would help facilitate a traffic signal at [an intersection such as South] Flamingo [Drive]," Redbird representative James Duncan said. The Flamingo Drive intersection with RR 620 is one of the closest to the school.

Anderson said that if these two conditions were not addressed, he does not feel he can support the project.

Lakeway Mayor Dave DeOme also said that the land currently occupied by the school is not zoned as such.

"That area is currently zoned C1, which fits a day care, but not a school," DeOme said. "Maybe we should have looked at this a few years ago, but its a small school, and the area next to it is vacant. Now that we have a major development coming in, we have to look at this.

"You have kids walking across the parking lot of the school, and it shares this easement with a business," he said. "You are mixing the two together in that situation. I think staff needs to go back and look at this. The school doesn't fit the current zoning, and there is too much going on on these two properties. We have to look at the safety of the kids."