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The design of Kuna’s second, new high school is ready to go before city agencies for approval.

Wayne Thowless, with the firm designing the school, LKV Architects, told the board of trustees Aug. 14 the design is ready to be shown to Kuna Planning and Zoning Commission, as long as the board gives the green light on the design.

Thowless and Ron Polintan, also with LKV Architects, presented an updated design of the school’s first building phase. A bus loading/unloading area, 400 parking spaces, a concrete automotive yard and a concrete construction yard for career technical courses were among the updates presented at the Aug. 14 meeting.

The first phase of building the new career technical high school is being funded in part by a $40 million bond passed in March 2017; $25 million is earmarked for the new high school.

The new school, on Columbia Road near Linder Road, is intended for focused career technical education, such as engineering, automotive technology and health care.

The first phase of the building and amenities will be about 72,000 square feet on just under 17 acres.

Back in March, Thowless presented some specific career technical education amenities the new school will have:

n A 2,000-square-foot health science lab

n Several health science lecture rooms, including for anatomy and pharmacy tech

n A 1,500-square-foot electronics lab

n A 4,800-square-foot construction lab, with a concrete yard adjoining outside

n A 13,500-square-foot area for a heavy diesel and automotive lab, comprised of a classroom and fenced concrete yard outside the building

A kitchen, cafeteria and commons area/patio are planned for the first phase and can be expanded in future phases, Thowless said. Much of the building is designed with the ability to be added onto in the future.

Board members were asked to approve the design plans as soon as possible because, due to a delay in receiving a traffic study, the project is about two months behind schedule.

“Some of our final site planning was waiting on the completion of that study,” Thowless said. “That gave us direction related to vehicular circulation issues to help us move forward.”

He added the study was completed a couple of weeks ago and was submitted to Ada County Highway District for review and ultimate approval.

“Our next step … will be to complete the planning and zoning application materials for the city of Kuna,” Thowless said.

Thowless said there are three approvals required at the planning and zoning level:

n A rezone: The land the school will be built on is currently zoned agricultural. Thowless said it likely will be rezoned to a public use designation, which is what most of the land schools in the district are currently zoned. This will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission, then to the City Council for ultimate approval. Public hearings will be held at to-be-determined dates.

n A special use permit: This is required for any school facility, Thowless said. This will also have a public hearing, but will only go as far as the Planning and Zoning Commission, Thowless said, assuming no there are no appeals.

n Finally, a design review application will be presented to planning and zoning officials.

Residents will be able to offer testimony for or against the rezone and special use permit and express concerns at the public hearings.

The design review application will also detail building materials and colors and landscaping features such as trees and shrubs.

Thowless said at the Aug. 14 meeting meeting these specifics were presented to the board at this conceptual stage because they are details that are required in the design review application.

Once the board approves the design plans, the design plans will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission.

School board trustee Kim Nixon asked how the remaining 43 acres (not being developed in phase one) will be maintained.

Superintendent Wendy Johnson said that it will either be mowed or farmed. Those details are currently being discussed.

For more plan images, visit kunamelbanews.com.

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or editor@kunamelba.com.

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