Fort Worth: Charter School Granted Waivers for Campus Expansion
Feature Photo (above): Aerial perspective of the original main building of Covenant Classical School. Courtesy: Covenant Classical.
by Eileen Pace
Fort Worth (Tarrant County)–The Zoning Commission recommended its approval of a request for new zoning with setback waivers needed for the expansion of a charter school campus in far west Fort Worth.
Covenant Classical School requested the change from single family to planned development for all uses to allow the construction of a new, larger school on a 50.24-acre tract it has occupied since 2009. The campus is located at 1701 Wind Star Way, north of Amber Ridge Road and generally northwest of the Interstate 30/Interstate 820 interchange.
To date, Covenant Classical has had a very small footprint within its property. This expansion will allow the directors to fully utilize the site’s potential.
The project scope includes eight buildings that range in size from 5,000 to 60,000 square feet, with a total of approximately 200,000 square feet.
In addition, there will be a sports complex that is to include two sets of bleachers that will seat 2,000. At the north end of the property, a new football field surrounded by a track is to be installed. There will also be separate baseball and softball fields, and three soccer fields.
The aforementioned setback, chain-link fence and 30-foot buffer are along the north property boundary and help create separation between the athletic fields and the single family residences.
The building sizes, as described in the site plan, are:
One building of 60,000 square feet
Three buildings of 35,000 square feet each
One building of 15,000 square feet
Three buildings of 5,000 square feet each
The waivers allow for a 10-foot setback along Amber Ridge Road, a fence height of 45 feet, a maximum of 50-feet candle lighting for a sports field, and lighted brick signage of an unspecified size.
Waivers were also submitted for a chain-link screening fence along the northern property line where the property is adjacent to A-5 (single family) zoning, and a 30-foot buffer area.
Christian Ellis, board president of Covenant Classical School.
Christian Ellis, chair of the school board, said Covenant’s board has been working with the HOA and neighbors surrounding the school for several years. He said homeowners’ concerns about increased traffic in the neighborhood would be resolved by bringing traffic in from Academy Boulevard and Amber Ridge Road. The existing entrance from Wind Star Way will be gated off and used only as an emergency exit.
The school’s original main building at the center of the campus will remain but an addition is planned for its east side.
An existing eight-foot ornamental fence will remain. Several existing portable buildings are to be removed. There are 464 surface parking spaces in the site plan, and a brick monument-style sign in the setback.
All streets inside and outside of the fenced area will be reinforced concrete paving. The pedestrian plan includes numerous walkways throughout the property of either concrete or brick pavers. All open spaces are to be sodded and irrigated.
The gates will be access-controlled and there will be security lighting and cameras throughout the campus.
The concept site plan for the Covenant Classical School campus expansion. Courtesy: City of Fort Worth public records.
Teague Nall and Perkins Inc. (TNP) is the consulting engineering, surveying and landscape architect firm on the project. Tom Rutledge, a principal with TNP, represented Covenant Christian and said the HOA gave its approval without opposition on Dec. 3, 2018.
Rutledge presented a letter of support from D.R. Horton, which is building a new nearby housing development scheduled for completion in three to five years.
An eastward extension of Amber Ridge and a southward extension of Academy, both under construction, will form the east and south boundaries and become the main thoroughfares with entrances to the school.
The new campus will allow the private school to grow from 450 students enrolled today to 700.
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