New local charter school gets okay to begin classes at Mebane church

At last week’s Mebane City Council meeting, the elected board held a special Board of Adjustment Hearing to consider a request from the new Alamance Community School. The request was for a special use permit for temporary use for Crosslink Church, located at 3445 Old Hillsborough Road in Mebane, as it gets going with the 2020-21 school year. The City Council unanimously approved the request, allowing Alamance Community School to begin welcoming over 400 students to an onsite location for classes. The approved proposal calls for a capacity of 220 students at Crosslink, allowing for students to have one day in/one day out sessions in August and September. 

At last week’s Mebane City Council meeting, the elected board held a special Board of Adjustment Hearing to consider a request from the new Alamance Community School. The request was for a special use permit for temporary use for Crosslink Church, located at 3445 Old Hillsborough Road in Mebane, as it gets going with the 2020-21 school year. 

The City Council unanimously approved the request, allowing Alamance Community School to begin welcoming over 400 students to an onsite location for classes. The approved proposal calls for a capacity of 220 students at Crosslink, allowing for students to have one day in/one day out sessions in August and September. 

These initial classes will lead up to the dedication of the brand-new school along Jimmie Kerr Road, to the immediate north of Alamance Community College and Exit 150 on the I-85/I-40 freeways. The physical address for the new school will be 195 Kronbergs Court, Haw River, and is expected to open in the next 45 to 60 days. But as they they begin in-person learning at the beginning of the new school year, Alamance Community School needed to get approval from city leaders to utilize the Crosslink Church site, which is conveniently located not far from the permanent site of the new school, and offers ample parking and interior space. 

Mebane City Planner Ashley Ownbey explained that that the 16.4 acre Crosslink site, currently zoned R-20, required a special use permit from the Board of Adjustment for use by an elementary school. 

“The temporary use of Crosslink Community Church is not expected to exceed 90 days,” Ownbey explained. “Based on other documentation we have received from the applicant, the temporary period is likely to be more in the 45-60 day range.” 

The site plan was reviewed by Mebane’s Technical Review Committee, as well as local appraisers and engineers. Chad Abbott of C3 Design and Engineering in Creedmoor represented Alamance Community School at the public hearing.

“It was stated during the public hearing that parents will be dropping off and picking up their students,” Abbott said. “There would be no transportation or traffic concerns. Given the current school plans for Alamance-Burlington Schools to delay in-school meetings until October, we should be well on our way to being out of this temporary use by then. We don’t have to worry about this school adding to, or being in conflict, with any other schools and public school uses of the transportation system in this area.” 

The approval for a period of 90 days does allow Alamance Community Church a little more time if construction of their permanent facility in Graham stretches beyond September or early October. With nearby Garrett Elementary School potentially starting classes back at some point in the fall, there is optimism that there will not be overlapping during pickup and drop-off times along Old Hillsborough Road. 

“We’re not proposing any improvements to this facility,” Abbott continued. “The drives and parking lot (at Crosslink) are all existing. No improvements are required to facilitate this temporary use. There are no new impervious surfaces or no new additions. The existing facilities are sufficient for our needs.” 

Abbott indicated that the request met certain Mebane-required specific zoning and use standards within R-20 - a residential growth zoning area - and the site’s lot size of 16.18 acres exceeds the minimum three acres required for schools on one property in Mebane. The site plan requirements are acceptable, being that Crosslink is an existing facility that is used for church services.

For more information on Alamance Community School, visit alamancecommunityschool.net