St. Michael the Archangel, a Catholic school to be built in Lee’s Summit, has a go-ahead from the City Council for developing a site west of Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport.
The council at its Dec. 18 meeting agreed to approve the preliminary development plan for the high school even though approvals and arrangements for a portion of the property in Kansas City is waiting on officials there.
The plan by the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is to open the school in fall of 2016, said Steve Hilliard, director of planning for the diocese.
The approval is conditional on those Kansas City actions. So the school won’t be allowed to open unless those are in place by the time it’s ready for occupancy.
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But with a 15-month window for construction, church officials believe that will be accomplished as well.
The school is to open with capacity for 550 students, but with room on the 80-acre site for expansion that would eventually increase to 750 students and add sports fields, a stadium and a second driveway into the school from Strother Road.
It will be a 137,247-square-foot building with one story in front and two rear stories made of manufactured stone, brick and synthetic cladding.
The design now calls for a single drive from Lee’s Summit Road to the school, with a second entrance added later.
Lee’s Summit, Kansas City and Jackson County are jointly widening the road between Lee’s Summit and Independence.
Councilman Derek Holland asked whether the church had looked at completing the driveway to Strother Road in the first phase. He noted Lee’s Summit Road is already busy.
“I have no certainty Lee’s Summit Road will be done,” Holland said. “They will have to contend with temporary construction.”
Holland said he was concerned about the amount of traffic produced from football games.
“We share your concern about students’ safety,” Hilliard said.
Hilliard said the connection to Strother is planned when the sports stadium is completed in a second phase. Until then, games would be held at other high schools in the diocese.
He added the $400,000 to $500,000 to reach Strother isn’t in the school’s budget yet and the diocese is still trying to raise money for the school’s construction.
Michael Park, city traffic engineer, said the road, with improvements including turn lanes, would be safe. He said the city could work with contractors to be certain the section of the road in front of the school would be complete when it opens.