The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Stafford High School, Chichester Park advance
BY KATIE THISDELL
Two Stafford County projects easily cleared county-imposed restrictions and are now closer to having work begin.
The Board of Supervisors approved conditional use permits to increase the heights of the new Stafford High School and the lights at Chichester Park.
“We have to do this to allow the project we’ve approved to go forward?” asked Supervisor Cord Sterling.
The new school, off Enon Road, can now be up to 65 feet tall. It will be built next to the existing building, which will be later demolished.
Plans for the new three-story building call for a total of 274,561 square feet, to hold 2,000 students.
The current school was built in 1975 and is above capacity with 1,933 students.
No one spoke during the public hearing. The school system was the applicant, and the vote was 6-1, with Paul Milde against.
The second CUP will allow lights at the diamond fields in Chichester Park to be 80 feet tall, 45 feet taller than previously allowed.
Located next to Stafford High School and bordering northbound Interstate 95, the 38-acre site is undeveloped.
Park plans include five diamond fields, picnic shelters, a playground, 261 parking spots and a future 12,000-square-foot building.
The lights will be shielded from nearby residences, but will not have time limits for when they must be shut off. After much discussion earlier in the summer, the Planning Commission had said the lights must be off by midnight, or if a game went on longer, then the lights would be turned off 30 minutes after its end.
“I just don’t understand the limitations we place on ourselves,” Sterling said.
Supervisor Jack Cavalier said he’d been to many games over the years—none had gone past midnight.
“It’s a non-issue,” Cavalier said. The vote for the CUP was unanimous.
No other formal approvals are required for either project, aside from bidding Chichester Park.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, supervisors:
Approved $93,000 for the virtual portion of the county’s museum, which is working to create an online presence first.
Decided to lower the flag at the government building to half-staff when a current or former elected official passes away.
Donated $20,000 to the Virginia Public Safety Memorial in honor of two fallen fire and rescue personnel.
Approved a $632,000 annual contract for maintenance of the emergency radio communications system, put in place in December 2010.
Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975