Monday, April 22, 2024
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Cookeville Planning To Consider Private School Zoning Request

A local private school wants to locate a new facility on the Mackie Estate Farm off Cookeville’s Salem Road.

Community Development Director Jon Ward said the Cookeville Planning Commission has received an application for an amendment from Daniel Bailey of New Colossus Academy. New Colossus is working to locate property to build a campus in time to open enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year.

“We have several private schools in the community and, you know, I think they’re growing,” Ward said. “We currently have provisions in the zoning code in zones where private schools are permitted, but they are not permitted in the CI district.”

Ward said the request will be considered by the commission at the February meeting. The Planning Commission decision on allowing a facility in the Commercial Industrial zone will be sent to Cookeville City Council.

“Currently, we allow public schools in the CI zone, but we don’t allow private schools,” Ward said. “That’s the difference. We just need to look into this a little more and see what impacts it might have on the code if the code were amended.”

The school currently has a campus on Phillips Cemetery Road. The school originally partnered with a full-time on-campus location in Crossville, but in 2023, the two locations became independent of one another.

New Colossus Academy is a “hybrid-model” school. Students are on campus Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00am-2:00pm in normal class settings. Students learn from home under parental supervision on the other three school days each week.

Ward said the amendment would also allow Parochial Schools, private schools affiliated with religious organizations that include religious curriculum, to build or move into Commercial Industrial Zoning Districts.

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