Columbus City Schools' latest site plan for Stewart Alternative Elementary School calls for saving the historic Columbus Maennerchor building and leaving Pearl Street open to through traffic.

Columbus City Schools' latest site plan for Stewart Alternative Elementary School calls for saving the historic Columbus Maennerchor building and leaving Pearl Street open to through traffic.

The district now wants to cluster all new additions on the existing property.

Meanwhile, the Maennerchor parking lot would be divided, with roughly half dedicated to greenspace and the other portion used for parking and by parents dropping off their children at school. Another portion of the Maennerchor parcel would be used for outdoor playground equipment.

The current design calls for the construction of three distinct additions, totaling 44,062 square feet, on the existing building: two on the north end and one on the south. The total cost of the project is $10.45 million, which includes the purchase of the Maennerchor property.

"We're not anticipating the design changing significantly moving forward," said Carole Olshavsky, who is in charge of capital improvements for the district.

School officials proposed using gates to close Pearl Street during the school day. However, the city is opposed to that method, Olshavsky said.

One possibility is for the school district to own a portion of Pearl Street, but Olshavsky said she is concerned about the cost of maintaining the street.

Previous designs had called for the permanent closing of Pearl Street at the school, something the commission has opposed from the start.

"The German Village Commission and most city planners believe demapping alleys is generally a bad idea under most circumstances," said Jay Panzer, who chairs the architectural review board.

Panzer said the newest proposal has been generally well received by the commission, with some concerns over "how the new buildings relate with the old buildings."

Because the expansion covers two architectural review boundaries, German Village and the Brewery District, it must receive approval from each commission.

The school district is trying to preserve the Stewart school, which was badly damaged in a July 2010 fire.

In the meantime, students have been reassigned to nearby Beck Elementary School.

According to the district's timeline, district officials want to complete the design by December and bid out the project in March 2013.

Construction would then take place from April 2013 to July 2014. Students would return to the building in August 2014.