Archer School, Neighbors Seek to Form Campus Project Task Force

Group meets Saturday in Brentwood to begin talks of examining the school's conditional use permit to renovate and expand the campus. Environmental study results are still pending.

As the Archer School for Girls prepares to reenergize its community outreach this month to engage Brentwood neighbors about its campus renovation and expansion project, a core group of interested parties meets behind closed doors this weekend to address lingering concerns.

Adjacent neighbors to Archer, members of the Brentwood Community Council (BCC), Brentwood Homeowners Association (BHA), Head of School Elizabeth English and project officials meet Saturday morning on campus to discuss the formation of a task force in an effort to increase open dialogue about the project's conditional use permit (CUP).

"We've wanted an open dialogue, but there's a tension between what the neighbors want to discuss and when we will be fully prepared to discuss it," English said Thursday.

The project for a 7.31-acre campus next to Brentwood Village calls for a 96,000-square-foot underground parking structure, a 41,000-square-foot multipurpose facility, a 22,400-square-foot performing arts center, a 7,400-square foot visual arts center and a 2,300-square-foot aquatics center. Existing outdoor athletic field improvements are proposed, including regulation-size soccer and softball fields. There's also proposed renovation, which may include some demolition, of existing classroom and office space. A total project cost has not been released.

The school anticipates the release of its draft environmental impact report from the city soon which, in the timing of bringing together a community task force, English said will help in considering negotiating parts of the CUP.

"We've been very transparent with what we've been doing," English said, referring to the school's 14 neighborhood meetings, as well as mailings and canvassing conducted since the dubbed "Archer Forward" plan was first announced in Sept. 2011.

"But even so, the BHA and their reps want to get down to brass tacks, but we're not quite there," she added. "We're kicking off the process Satuday."

A driving suspicion from neighbors is, even though Archer's project CUP allows an enrollment of up to 518 students, some neighbors are not convinced the school does not intend to increase its cap on enrollment.

In December the Brentwood Homeowners Association reported that City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl wants a "brokered deal" with Archer and the community, through sitting down and meeting, to prove that it does not want to increase student enrollment.

Next Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. English and project officials plan hold the first of their monthly "Archer Chats" to meet with community members and talk about Archer Forward.

For more information on all project details, photos and video, click here.

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