WATERLOO, Iowa --- Plans for a new Catholic middle school have cleared their final zoning hurdle.
Waterloo Board of Adjustment members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a special permit for the Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Catholic Middle School to be built west of Columbus High School at 3231 W. Ninth St.
"We'll be taking bids through the middle of March, and then we'll be ready to break ground," said Jeff Frost, education director for Cedar Valley Catholic Schools. The goal is to complete construction by August 2010.
Members of the city's Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission voted unanimously in December to endorse the permit, pending completion of traffic and sanitary sewer usage at the new building.
Claassen Engineering performed a traffic study indicating there would be no significant impact on the adjoining streets.
The Board of Adjustment's permit requires the school to utilize Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design water consumption strategies to decrease the amount of water entering the sanitary sewer system.
Tim Jones, of Struxture Architects, presented information showing Columbus High School had 1,200 students and 81 staff 20 years ago compared to the 580 students and 100 staff projected for the high school and new middle school combined. Sewer usage and traffic issues were expected to be well below the levels during the school's peak enrollment.
Cedar Valley Catholic Schools won final approval Feb. 8 from the Archdiocese of Dubuque for a proposal to build the middle school, which is projected to cost $6.5 million. The building would consolidate sixth through eighth grades, which are at three Waterloo Catholic grade schools.