A preschool and childcare center that seeks to construct a new facility in Macungie came before Borough Council July 2 to clear up the extent of road repairs it would be expected to do.
Representatives of The Devine School asked Borough Council whether it would be required to do extensive renovations to Lumber Street, which is adjacent to the property the preschool has picked out.
Erich J. Schock, the attorney for school owners Christine and Joseph Devine, told Council that the proposed building is to be located at 135 E. Main Street but would have access off Lehigh Street.
The school is to be built on less than 1-acre of the 5.2-acre property and is proposed to open by August 2013. Currently, the school has locations on Brookside Road in Lower Macungie and off Cedar Crest Boulevard across from Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township. The Salisbury Township location would move to Macungie when the construction is complete, the Devines said.
Schock said the Devines weren’t prepared to do extensive improvements to Lumber Street at this time but would be amenable to more road improvements there should they expand the school in the future.
“We wouldn’t want to put in the curb and sidewalks at this time,” he said.
“It looks like this will be a good use of the property,” said Councilman Chris Becker. He suggested Council let the school move forward with its plans and postpone the improvements to Lumber Street for any future expansion.
Council agreed by consensus to do exactly that. There was no vote on the issue.
Some residents said they didn’t object to the preschool moving in but that it will bring more traffic to Lumber Street, which is already in bad shape.
“It is increasingly in a deplorable condition,” said Tim Schantzenbach. “If that dirt road is getting pounded on a regular basis it will deteriorate faster.”
Don Young, who owns a neighboring property, said he wasn’t opposed to the school but the borough should expect more traffic on Lumber Street and that someone will have to pay for repairs.
The Devine School’s plans will still have to go through the borough’s Planning Commission and gain approval by Council.