The Grandview Heights Planning Commission April 20 approved a major site plan review to allow the Grandview Heights City School District to build an addition at Stevenson Elementary.

The Grandview Heights Planning Commission April 20 approved a major site plan review to allow the Grandview Heights City School District to build an addition at Stevenson Elementary.

The 1,200-square-foot addition will house the district's preschool classroom for special needs students.

Architect Paul J. Mullin of MKC Associates Inc. told the commission the project is being funded through federal stimulus money for special needs students that was awarded to the district. By moving the classroom to Stevenson, the district will be able to consolidate the preschool and elementary programs all in the same building, he said.

The special needs preschool classroom is now located at Edison Intermediate/Middle School, Mullin said.

"It's a very limited scope project," he said. "The actual addition would be constructed in the courtyard area between the original building (built in 1923) and the addition" that was built in the 1960s, he said.

The classroom will face First Avenue, Mullin said.

The original 1923 building and the addition built in the 1960s have different brick materials, he said.

The new addition will be built using a brick that is similar to the original building, Mullin said.

Unfortunately, at the time the first addition was built, it was decided not to use the same brick material, he said.

"There may be some sort of visual disconnect" between the structures, Mullin said. "On the other hand, I think the addition will relate much more prominently to the 1923 building once it's completed and as you approach it from the west down First Avenue."

Some trees will be removed from the courtyard area to allow for the addition, Mullin added.

The commission approved the major site plan review with the amendment that if the district decides to make the area between the original building and the new addition all concrete, it will be permitted.

Mullin said the district plans to start the project as soon as possible and intends to have the new classroom ready on or around the start of next school year.

The school district has announced that during construction the sidewalk on First Avenue will remain open, but that parking on First will be limited.

In other business last week, the commission approved a major site plan review for Dr. William Thompson's plan to expand his dental practice at 1220 Grandview Ave.

In February, the commission approved a lot consolidation, a conditional use and a parking variance for the project.

Thompson will be purchasing the adjacent property to the south of his practice and consolidate the lots and join the buildings with an infill structure.

The commission approved the site plan review with the understanding that the applicant will bring more details regarding the type of pavement, benches, signage, trash containers, fencing and lighting that will be used in the project for the commission's review.

The commission also approved a major site plan review for Boulevard Presbyterian Church's plans to plant a community garden on the church lot.

The site plan review was approved with the amendment that the church not build a fence around the garden as it had planned.