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  • Westgate Farms Residents Express Concerns over Odyssey Charter School Construction

  • Westgate Farms residents are concerned about the density of the proposed Odyssey Charter School planned to be built in their backyard.
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  • THE PROBLEM
    Odyssey Charter School, a publicly-funded Kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school located in Wilmington, has purchased the 16-acre Mundy Farm on Route 48/Lancaster Pike in order to expand its facilities to include a Middle and High School. The three school buildings, athletic fields and parking facilities total 225,592 square feet and will be built adjacent to the Coffee Run Condominiums and 16 homes in Westgate Farms. While residents are not against the construction of a school on the Mundy Farm property, they do have a number of concerns regarding the project.
    WHAT IS BEING SAID
    At a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at McKean High School, the Westgate Farms Civic Association discussed four components of the project that are of major concern with the developer, Harvey Hanna, as well as with Dr. Nick Manolakos, the new Head Master of Odyssey Charter School.
    The components are density, traffic impact, water/sewage/drainage, and historic preservation.
    "Charter schools are exempt from state and county regulations governing construction and capacity," Leslie Wagner said, President of Westgate Farms Civic Association.
    With the addition of Odyssey, which is anticipated to begin construction in March of 2013, there will be five schools within a one-mile radius of each other. One of those is the new Red Clay elementary school to be built on Graves Road.
    "Odyssey Charter School welcomed the opportunity to meet with our new neighbors. Being a good neighbor is core to our mission. We're working with Leslie Wagner to invite a diverse, inclusive group of representatives from various civic associations to join a working group to further discuss concerns and explore options," Nick Manolakos said.
    WHAT'S NEXT
    With construction expected to commence in March, the New Castle County Historic Review Board and DelDot will be meeting in December to give their recommendations on the project.
    Westgate Farms residents are holding another meeting about the project on Monday, Dec. 3 at Wilmington Christian School at 7 p.m.

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