Charter school seeks permit to build on Mallory Way
Silver State Charter School is asking the city to approve its plan to create a 95,920-square-foot campus on 6.7 acres between Mallory Way and Fairview Drive.
“It’s just ideal,” said Steve Knight, superintendent of the charter middle and high schools. “We are partnering with the city for a mutual-use facility. It’s fabulous.”
Officials from the online hybrid charter school will appear before the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday, seeking a special-use permit to build the school in an industrial and commercial area.
Under the proposal, the school and city would share parking at and use of Governor’s Field. In return, the city would have use of the school’s gymnasium and performing arts center.
The school would use existing buildings as well as construct new ones in coming years.
However, surrounding businesses don’t think the school is a good fit and are concerned the privately owned Mallory Way cannot handle the increased traffic.
Donald Heldoorn, owner of Carson Valley Welding on Mallory Way, said inviting a school to the area brings worries of vandalism and trespassing.
“What I see happening is that with the addition of a new school on Mallory Way, we have changed the use of this road for a school zone and with it brings the added use of a different type of people that have no direct influence to our businesses,” he wrote in a letter to the planning commission. “A school will constantly be a thorn n the side of the owners and tenants of Mallory Way businesses.”
Other business are concerned about traffic.
“Mallory Way is a private road in much need of repair,” wrote Gary and JoAnn Sheerin, property owners on Mallory Way. “The city has no funds or desire to improve this road. It is rapidly deteriorating with current use. If a charter school were to be located here, the added use … would overburden Mallory Way.”
In the application, school officials explained that while enrollment is near 1,000, students only attend classes once a week. That would mean fewer cars at a time and less need for parking.
Silver State High School opened its doors in 2003 as a hybrid charter school where students take courses online and attend classes at the school once a week. In 2009, the school expanded to junior high students.
Knight said the school has outgrown its current location at 3719 N. Carson St., with no room there to expand.
In May 2009, the school went before the Carson City Airport Authority with plans to build a 65,000-square-foot campus adjacent.
The airport authority denied the school’s plan, citing safety concerns. School officials said they resolved the concerns, and the planning commission approved the special-use permit in December 2009.
City supervisors overturned that decision in January 2010 after hearing protests from the airport and other neighboring businesses.