Friday, July 12, 2013

LV Arts Charter School Approved For South Side Bethlehem

It was a kinder, gentler Bethlehem Planning Commission. Just one month earlier, they sidelined plans for a brand new Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts for want of a traffic study. It made no difference that school officials had already agreed to perform one and implement all recommendations, or that even a month's delay could affect financing for a $27 million project. But at their July 11 meeting, when presented with a detailed study and forty arts advocates packed into Town Hall, Commissioners quickly voted 3-0 to approve the project.

Traffic Engineer Walter Lublanecki, who prepared the study, assured Commissioners that the impact of school traffic on the rest of the community will be minimal. primarily because its peak hours will be different than those of area businesses. There will be no morning bus stacking, and afternoon stacking will clear out in a matter of ten minutes. Twenty-five buses of various sizes will serve the school.

Andrew Twiggar, who wanted the project delayed last month, said he is ""very satisfied by what I've seen." His own waterfront plans in Allentown received preliminary approval earlier in the week, despite a lack of traffic studies.

"Perhaps we helped you," said Planning Chair James Fiorentino, in an attempt to explain the delay.

Located at 321 E. Third Street in the heart of a growing arts and entertainment district, the three-story, 85,428 sq ft high school, will have room for up to 600 students and 54 faculty. The school bells are expected to ring there next year.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

donchez will come in and put his own donors on the boards

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is just ignorant. Not one member of the Bethlehem Planning Commission is - or to my knowledge ever been - a "donor" to either Mayor John Callahan or even Mayor Don Cunningham before him. Planning Commissions aren't typically where "donors" are appointed. It's hard work and requires attendance. The writer seems to imply that being named to the PC is some kind of reward for their contributions to the campaign. That really isn't the case. But I do think Twiggar is a walking conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

Does good government include requesting impact reports AFTER approval is granted?
Am I missing something?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, you are. This is something that the school had already agreed to do and implement all recommendations. There was no real good reason for the hold up.

Anonymous said...

Was that agreement binding?

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like this was really handled quite well.
Where is the problem?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It wasn't handled well at all, and if you think it was, you are likely one of the Commissioners.

Anonymous said...

You're working awfully hard to pick a fight here, Bernie, you just don't have much to work with. Let it go and move on.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I note you didn't deny it or identify yourself. The fact is that Planners, and likely that included you, were real assholes last month. one of your members is a walking conflict of interest. he tables this over a traffic study that the school agreed to perform and implement, yet couldn't be bothered to have one for his plans in Allentown. You needlessly delayed approval a month, threatening the financing. In the end, you got exactly what they said you would get.

Time for some of you to step down.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here, if that's possible on this site. This post is really about settling a score. A member of that commission had the temerity to point out some silly, Mormon rituals. Bernie took offence at this perceived slight. Rougher stuff is said in a Broadway play.
But Bernie, with all the instincts of a recovering alcoholic, can't let this go. Your regular readers know this is about settling a score Berni. At least have the integrity to be honest.

Anonymous said...

A professional board encouraged a school to do their best planning for themselves and the community. A win-win. The mayor should be proud of his appointees.
A job well done. Congratulations all the way around.

Anonymous said...

My grandson will go to this school. Couldn't be more pleased with the whole process.

Anonymous said...

Trust but verify . It's called due diligence. It's called caring out the public trust. It's called good business. It's called good government.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's called put on the brakes by Comm'rs who have a hot nut for charter schools.