The Mt. Juliet Planning Commission approved the site plan for the proposed Green Hill High School in a narrow 5-4 vote Thursday night.
The site for the new school would be at Lebanon Road and North Greenhill Road and would have access points on both.
According to Civil Site Design Group, the plan proposes a multi-story 368,379-square-foot high school and 56,531 square feet of related accessory structures on a 79.28 acre lot. The school would have 105 classrooms and a 1,069 seat auditorium to accommodate the approximately 2,000 student population.
The main thoroughfare for the school would come from entrances on North Greenhill Road, leading to faculty and visitor parking as well as drop off lanes for buses and parents. The student parking lot will be accessed from Lebanon Road and will include more than 1,000 parking spaces.
North Greenhill Road will be widened from Lebanon Road to the entrance at Needmore Road, and an additional roadway off Lebanon Road, Benton Douglas Parkway, will provide additional access.
The site plan also includes an additional 189 parking spots to W.A. Wright Elementary School as well as a new playground.
Many residents along North Greenhill Road and nearby subdivisions voiced their opposition to the project. Of all who attended the meeting, nobody voiced their support for the location of the school.
The main concern for many was the safety of students who would drive on North Greenhill, a twisting and narrow two-lane road. One resident spoke about a fatal accident on the road involving her daughter and her daughter’s friend.
Mt. Juliet Commissioner Ray Justice, whose district includes the proposed school, said that Windtree Trace neighborhood is already a thoroughfare from Nonaville Road to Greenhill and that the school would add to the traffic. He asked that the school board help implement speed tables throughout Windtree to reduce and discourage speeding.
Leah Jack, of Dickens Drive, asked the Commission who would be responsible for road issues, such as people parking along the road. Traffic and safety were her main concerns, and she said that residents do not want the new school on this property because it isn’t the right fit.
A couple residents were against one of the proposed raised crosswalks at Needmore Road as it would not lead to any additional parking or sidewalks. Another woman said the project has “awoken a sleeping giant” of angry residents.
After the Commission voted to approve the site plan, many citizens left City Hall irate. One woman said she might even move because “the length of the room is the buffer” between her property and the school.
The Board of Commissioners will review the plan of services and the annexation for the proposed school at a later date after the Planning Commission unanimously gave the items a positive recommendation.