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Construction of academy rides on rezoning

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | 9:07 p.m. CST; updated 6:28 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 30, 2013

COLUMBIA — The Hagan Scholarship Foundation hopes to rezone two blocks of property formerly owned by Stephens College to allow for construction of a new college-preparatory academy, Pat Zenner, development services manager for the city, said Tuesday.

Rezoning the land, on the north side of Broadway between North William Street and Ripley Street and on the south side of Broadway between Chandler Court and Dorsey Street, would restrict future use of the sites to activities of the scholarship foundation or the construction of professional office buildings. The sites are currently zoned for residential purposes.

Hillcrest Hall and the old Stephens College Auditorium and Natatorium complex are slated for demolition to make room for the academy. The College sold the properties to the scholarship foundation in December. About a dozen people gathered to hear details about the rezoning process at a public information meeting Tuesday night.

The academy will be built on one of the two properties. The other adjacent property will remain unused until the academy is built and growing, said Dianne Lynch, Stephens College President. The college will not need the two properties in the future, according to the college's strategic plan, which was approved in 2012. 

City planner Matthew Lepke announced a proposed timeline for future meetings regarding the sites and the rezoning process:

  • March 7, a Planning and Zoning meeting will be held to discuss the sites.
  • March 18, plans for the academy will be given their first reading at the Columbia City Council meeting.
  • April 1, the proposed sites and rezoning plans will be introduced at the council meeting.
  • April 15, rezoning plans for the academy's construction will be given their second and final reading at the council meeting.

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