School projects approved by Plan Commission

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Two major projects at Plymouth High School got the nod from the Plan Commission Thursday.

District officials submitted plans for the $1 million Food Science and Agriculture Center at the high school, as well as a small addition to the east side of the high school building that is part of $300,000 electrical system upgrade for the high school.

“We’re really excited about this project,” Plymouth School District Superintendent Carrie Dassow told the board.

The combination greenhouse/classroom building will be located at the north end of the school property, about 330 feet east of the high school building.

“Our plans are to enhance that area and make it a community garden,” Dassow told the commissioners. “There will be benches for people to sit on and walkways through the gardens.”

The gardens would also be utilized to grow fruit and vegetables that could be used in culinary classes in the center, she added.

“It will look very attractive and pleasing. We would have future horticulture classes work on making it better all the time,” Dassow added.

City Administrator Brian Yerges noted that the gardens would serve as the landscaping plan for the new building.

The 30 by 30 foot addition to the high school would serve as a new electrical service room for the building, Building Inspector Pete Scheuermann told the commission.

It is part of a project replacing the electrical system throughout the 50-year-old building.

“This project has been in our long-term plan for awhile,” Dassow explained. “We’ve been putting money away for it for awhile.”

The total project is estimated at around $300,000, with $103,000 of that for the new addition.

Dave Schulze, consultant on the project, said the transformer for the school’s electric system is still the original equipment and,”it could go anytime. It’s time to get an upgrade. This is going to take us over the next 40-50 years.”

Dassow said the district has been working with Plymouth Utilities on the electrical system upgrade.

The commission indicated they would prefer rezoning over a variance for a vacant lot on Grove Street between Krumrey Street and the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad tracks.

Scheuermann explained that a potential buyer for the lot wants to build a single-family home on the lot, which is zoned for multi-family.

The lot has sufficient square footage for R-3 multifamily, but does not have enough frontage under current city codes, which were updated long after the lot was created.

There would also be difficulty meeting setback requirements in the R-3 zone with a single-family home, he added.

Commission members indicated they would prefer a rezoning to R-2 single-family rather than granting a variance to the R-3 requirements that might open the door to other variance requests.

“I think the fact that it’s infill makes it worthwhile,” commissioner Jim Flanagan stated, noting that the lots on either side already have residences on them.

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