School’s move in talks

The city wants to know what its residents think about the decision to relocate Coral Springs Charter High School from the downtown area to the parking lot of the Center for the Arts.

The city is organizing two community meetings to seek public input on the issue. The first meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on March 19 at the charter school auditorium while the second one will take place at 7 p.m. on April 9 at the art center.

“We will be mailing out a flyer with information to people living in the neighborhood,” Deputy City Manager Susan Grant said at a Slice of the Springs meeting involving the Town Center and Center West portions of the city. The city is currently in the process of having a traffic study and a parking study done to determine the effect of the proposed project on surrounding areas.

The plans for the relocation of the school include the construction of a three-story building, which would include a gymnasium and a parking garage. The number of students will rise from 1650 to 2100. The project cost is $25 million; the construction will be through a public-private partnership.

“It would be built by our partner, Charter Schools USA,” said Grant. “They would construct and finance the building. The school, not the city, would pay a rent payment to them. There would be no impact on the playing fields and the performing arts center.” The land would remain a city asset. There will be an opportunity for redevelopment at the current site at Sample Road and University Drive.”

“Any redevelopment project is difficult and challenging,” City Manager Erdal Donmez said, “but it shouldn’t stop us from looking at opportunities; that is what we are going to do. A successful, vibrant community has to renew itself. At the same time, the character of the community shouldn’t change.”

ArtWalk construction: The ongoing construction of the city’s ArtWalk is expected to be completed by August or September, Deputy City Manager Jennifer Bramley said. The area, which is on NW 31st Court connecting University Drive to Coral Hills Drive, will be 70 feet wide and will extend 1,300 lineal feet. There will be six pieces of public art and space for 52 tents.

Another upcoming project in the downtown area is Downtown Pathways, which is aimed at improving pedestrian activity in the area. “Downtown Pathways will lead to Coral Hills Drive and down around the hospital, and along Ben Geiger Drive to Coral Springs Drive,” said Bramley. “It is going to be eight feet wide, and it will be lit and landscaped.”

Broken Woods: Groundbreaking for the Broken Woods residential project in the heart of the city is expected this year, said Jim Hickey, assistant director of development services. The project, which is currently in the site-planning stage, will include 80 town homes, 168 apartments and 188 single-family homes.

Another housing project in the works is at the Country Club of Coral Springs. The plan, which has already been approved by the Coral Springs City Commission, includes the construction of seven five-story buildings that will have a total of 250 rental units. The existing clubhouse will be demolished and a new one built on the golf course.

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel

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