The Price School/Churchill School property sale is much closer to fruition, thanks to an agreement reached between Churchill officials and the Ladue City Council.
The Ladue Council, at its May 21 meeting approved the demolition permit with the work to be done in 90 days once contracts are let. “We are making you (Churchill) and offer you will just have to accept,” said Mike Woolridge, Ladue’s chief administrator.
Normally, demolition permits last 120 days but Churchill wants to hurry up the process to get out from under a mountain of debt.
According to Churchill Head of School Sandy Gilligan, the sooner the better. Her board president Bill Tingle made a direct appeal to the council. “Having this property is costing Churchill $60,000 a year.”
Gilligan explained why. “We had to keep up minimum utilities, mow the lawn and pay for insurance of a building that is of no longer of use to us,” she said.
The annual expenses has become a financial drag on the school in Town and Country since leaving five years ago.
Over that span, at least five different development proposals have failed to gain traction.”One called for detached villas, and Ladue would not allow that,” said Gilligan.
Tingle said the school realized they would have to manage the project themselves to get the property ready for sale. That means supervising the demolition of the aged building, adjacent to the Bogey Club.
“This will be a wonderful-beautiful lot once the property is cleared,” said Gilligen.
At the same meeting, the council held three public hearings to move other matters forward. They approved a special use permit to allow Heartland Bank at 9926 Clayton Rd. to have shared parking with a newly-proposed building just west of the bank. Eight provisions will have to be met, including completion of a flood plain study and no left turn out of the property.
The council also approved a recommendation from Zoning & Planning to approve sidewalks on the north side of Litzsinger Road from Overbrook Drive to McKnight Road. This approval goes along with the project to create sidewalks on McKnight Road from Ladue to Clayton in conjunction with the rebuild of the road and bridges along the entire stretch.
The council also approved a special use permit by Mary Institute Country Day School to build its new $21.5 million dollar science-math building on the north end of the campus.
Students will mostly park on the south end of the campus adjacent to the McDonnell Center during construction and the school will make use of modular classrooms (trailers) during the construction phase. The council and agreed to construction hours of 7:30 a.m.to 4 p.m. daily with access only off Warson Road with trucks coming from Olive Street and not any other directions. The Danforth Chapel and Matthews Hall will be demolished, meaning the footprint of the new building will only be slightly larger than what exists today.
In other matters, James Schiele of the Finance Committee reported on the City’s 2011 audit by Botz, Deal and Company and the council approved the liquor license renewal of Sportsman’s Park Restaurant at 9901 Clayton Rd.