The Kennett Consolidated School District's proposed new elementary school has hit a few snags in the development stage.According to New Garden Township manager Carmen Raddi, at a conditional use hearing held last week with the township's board of supervisors, attorney John Jaros of Riley, Riper, Hollin and Colagreco, said that Thursday night's hearing did not have to proceed any further and that the district needs to determine how to proceed.

"They did not continue with the hearing, they're not withdrawing the plan, and they kept dates open for future hearings," Raddi said. "It seemed like it was up in the air to me."

In a phone interview last Friday, Raddi said that township solicitor George Brutscher had submitted a letter to the school board alleging that the plans submitted with their application was not the plan discussed at the first hearing.

Raddi said that from the plan first presented with the application to one discussed at a recent hearing, certain changes had been made to the footpad plan.

"The building was moved, and I think the [stormwater] basin was moved," he said. "[The district] said that it was an evolving process, and the board's position was, well you have to decide and then submit your plans".

In a phone interview Monday, Jaros said that the district had actually reduced the size of the school by 3,000 square feet and had reconfigured the parking lot, but those changes were not accepted by the township.

He said that the district could either resubmit its original plan or start the process over at square one with new plans and a new application, a move that could cost the district both time and money.

"It's a situation where you have two municipal bodies, and you'd think there would be more of a sprit of cooperation but that does not seem to be the case here," Jaros said.

Raddi said that submitting the altered plans is against township policy.

"For a few years, the township has held the position that, in fairness to everyone who examines the application - the various officials, township engineers, what have you - that if it's a different plan [from previously discussed at hearing], the board has taken the position to say, 'no, you have to discuss the original plan," Raddi said."

The district recently entered into a deal with New Garden resident Mary Sproat to purchase a 20-plus acre property on Bancroft Road in New Garden for its proposed new elementary school.

At a recent meeting of the Kennett school board, Superintendent Rudy Karkosak said that the district hoped to finalize the purchase by August.

In a phone interview Monday morning, Karkosak said he was not sure if the delay would push back the closing of the sale agreement.

He also said that being told they cannot alter plans during this process is not how the district is accustomed to working.

"It's just very frustrating," he said. "We're trying to get this thing off the ground and moving."

The next public hearing is scheduled for July 22 at 7 p.m. at the New Garden Township building.

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