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Wentzville School Board Overrides O'Fallon's Rejection of Permit for New High School

The new high school on Sommers Road had nearby residents concerned about traffic and safety.

The Board of Education voted to override

The conditional use permit would have acknowledged that a school could be constructed on the district's property on Sommers Road.

The O'Fallon City Council voted 7-3 against the district’s request for a conditional use permit, after several residents voiced their concerns during the Jan. 12 meeting. 

Some residents of the Countryshire subdivision, which borders the land where the high school is set to be built, said they did not oppose building a new high school, but the plan to extend Paul Renaud Boulevard.

Residents said they feared the effect this would have on their neighborhood traffic, safety and property value. 

Kari Monsees, chief financial officer for the district, spoke to Patch about the school board's override.

"The conditional use permit would have said that a school was an allowable use for this property, that it could be built in the zoning classification that this property falls under," Monsees said.

"The board believes that we have an equal legal standing to a city. We need this school, and we need to keep this project going and proceed with the development of this property," Monsees said.

The board voted unanimously to override O'Fallon's decision to not issue the permit. In a subsequent vote, the board authorizing bidding for rough grading of the site for the new high school.

Wentzville Community Relations Director Matt Deichmann said the district's plan is to have the high school ready as promised in 2013.  

"Per our understanding, from a legal stand point is there is nothing else we have to get approved by the City of O'Fallon," he said. 

O'Fallon Director of Public Relations Tom Drabelle said the city will review the next steps both internally and with the school district. 

"We want to continue to work in cooperation with school district on this development," he said.  

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