Image: Plans from the city website showing what the front of Scales Elementary School will look like after the expansion is complete.
By LANDON WOODROOF
Brentwood’s Planning Commission has a full agenda for its next meeting on Monday, Dec. 4 as it considers an expansion of the over-capacity Scales Elementary School, a new self-storage facility on Wilson Pike Circle, a new restaurant in Hill Center Brentwood and more.
Here is a breakdown of each of these topics, including information from Thursday morning’s Planning Commission briefing.
SCALES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
According to data from September, the current student population at Scales is 786 students. That is well above the capacity of 715 students Williamson County Schools has set for the 40-year-old school.
A revised site plan presented to the Planning Commission would increase Scales’s capacity to 900 students by adding on a 10 classroom addition to the front of the school.
The 18,449-square-foot addition will increase the school’s size by approximately 25 percent
The plan would also “include an administrative area, renovation of the existing library into cafeteria space and a new library within the existing administrative area,” according to city documentation.
To make room for the new addition, the parking lot at the school is going to be redesigned.
WCS Director of Facilities Kevin Fortney said the school’s portable classrooms will be removed once construction of the addition is complete.
The plan is for construction to start in March or April 2018. Fortney said WCS has an ambitious timeline for the project, hoping to have it done by the start of the next school year.
“It’s gonna be a real tough one,” Fortney said, referring to that time table. “I’m not saying it can’t be done, but we’re gonna try.”
BELL SELF-STORAGE FACILITY
A site plan was discussed Thursday morning for a new self-storage facility on Wilson Pike Circle, where Jim Johnson Landscaping is currently located.
The 100,632-square-foot building will include one underground story, and three above-ground stories.
This land was rezoned in August to allow for the construction of a self-storage facility there, and, in the process, several special restrictions were put in place on the project.
As a result, the facility will have no roll-up garage doors or outside storage access. Storage of things like boats, campers and trailers outside the facility will also be prohibited.
The special restrictions also dictate the facility “should resemble an office building.”
That stipulation caused some problems for several commissioners Thursday morning, who did not like the plan’s call for a kind of illuminated mesh facade on the front of the building.
“I won’t vote for this, I’ll tell you that right now,” Commissioner Ken Travis said, referring to the mesh lighting, adding later that he felt such a design did not look like an office building.
The building will be the largest self-storage facility in Brentwood if it is constructed according to present plans. There are six other self-storage facilities in Brentwood.
For months, Brentwood residents have been wondering what is going to go in the old Ruby Tuesday building at Hill Center Brentwood.
The answer is a Jason’s Deli, according to a revised site plan discussed by the Planning Commission on Thursday.
The popular restaurant chain has a total of 266 locations in 28 states, per its website. There are currently three locations in the greater Nashville area: one on West End in Nashville, one in Cool Springs and one in Murfreesboro.
The new tenants would like to make several changes to the property, which is why the Planning Commission looked over the matter on Thursday.
The biggest of those changes is a call for a new drive thru lane and window. The lane would border the west edge of the current parking lot and wrap around to the east before stopping just before the restaurant entrance.
Several commissioners were not thrilled with the drive thru idea.
Travis noted the Cool Springs location of the restaurant does not have a drive thru, while Commissioner Brandon Oliver raised some concerns about people walking in the area.
“I thought the whole idea of the Hill Center was to have something that was pedestrian friendly and things like that and dumping cars on top of pedestrians is not friendly,” he said.
Commissioner Janet Donahue joined others in suggesting perhaps an outdoor patio seating area could be built on the site in place of the drive thru lane.
HILL CENTER BRENTWOOD MAKEOVER
Back in June, the Planning Commission approved a plan to give the original parts of Hill Center Brentwood—to the south of the new construction—a makeover by adding elements to the facade.
This new look has been slightly revised since that meeting. Brick will be used in the new facade in several places rather than metal composite.
Here is a picture of what the work is expected to look like when done:
RECOVERY UNPLUGGED REHAB CENTER
Commissioners also mulled a proposal to put an addiction recovery center on Wilson Pike Circle. This would be located at 255 Wilson Pike Circle, right next to the proposed new self-storage facility.
Recovery Unplugged uses a “music-based treatment approach” for its patients, according to the organization’s website.
The facility would provide “detox and residential services,” according to city documentation.
Counseling and psychiatric assessment would occur at the site, which would house 35 to 45 clients. Those clients would eat and sleep at the facility during their treatment, which can vary from five to 45 days.
The facility would employ roughly 50 full-time staff.
The city documentation more thoroughly describes the organization’s approach: “The program uses music as a catalyst to treat the underlying causes of addiction and to help break down defenses and facilitate, motivate and inspire the change necessary for long-term recovery and sobriety.”
There is no site plan yet for this facility. The item on the Planning Commission’s agenda is a “land use review.” The site is zoned C-2, which permits a variety of uses including hospitals, convalescent homes and day care facilities. It does not, though, explicitly allow rehab facilities, so it is the Planning Commissioners’ responsibility to determine “if, in their opinion, the proposed use is in keeping with the character and intent of the C-2 district.”
Commissioners had a number of questions related to the project.
Commissioner Janet Donahue is an emergency medicine physician. She wanted to have details on the organization’s medical plan should any patients need emergency care.
Commissioner John Church said he would like to know more about the facility’s security plan. He also thought the commission should seek the Brentwood community’s opinion on the matter.
“I think we would be remiss if we did not at least see what the community as a whole thinks about this,” he said.