Pace Academy and West Paces Northside Neighborhood Association (WPNNA) have ended more than six years of haggling and frustration agreeing to a 20-year school development plan which would allow Pace to expand the Lower School and use fields on its main campus to practice football.
The agreement gives Pace neighborhood support for submitting a request for a Special Use Permit (SUP) to the Atlanta City Council on Oct. 1. Neighborhood Planning Unit-A recently also approved the SUP by a vote of 114-0. “It is a historic agreement that allows us to live together as good neighbors,” said WPNNA president Jack Hellriegal.
“We have an agreement that is mutually beneficial to the school and the neighborhood,” said Pace Board of Trustees Chair Paul Garcia. “The resulting 20-year plan gives our neighbors peace of mind and sets a clear vision for Pace. And, we know that on-going communication between the Pace trustees and the neighborhood leaders will give us a forum to discuss future issues.” Garcia and Head of School Fred Assaf worked with neighborhood leaders to forge the final agreement.
Neighborhood leader Tom Johnson believes that a new era of cooperation and good communications will exist between Pace and its neighbors. “Both sides had to compromise in order to achieve a 20-year agreement,” Johnson said.
A neighborhood relations committee, a new standing committee of the Pace Board of Trustees, will include members of both WPNNA and the Kingswood neighborhood (both of which border Pace) and members of the Pace community. This committee will provide a forum for the resolution of disagreements.
Along with the agreement, Pace and the WPNNA have approved a new Master Campus Plan drawing, which can be viewed on the schools website at www.paceacademy.org.
The Master Campus drawing addresses long-term issues such as on-campus parking, redesign of athletic fields, traffic patterns and renovation of the existing high school.