Cary School District 26 schedules special meeting on Maplewood Transportation Center plan after tie vote

The meeting will be Wednesday to vote again on the proposed transportation hub for District 26

The long-vacant Maplewood Elementary School could be demolished as early as this fall.

Cary School District 26′s plan to create a transportation center at the old Maplewood Elementary School remains undecided after the Board of Education’s tie vote on the plan.

The proposed Maplewood Transportation Center would create 40 bus parking spaces, a fuel pump, a building and car parking spaces, school staff said in an Aug. 21 board meeting. If approved, construction could start this fall.

One board member was absent during Monday’s meeting, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote. Superintendent Brandon White voted in favor of the plan to break the tie. Because the superintendent is not allowed to vote, however, the plan is not officially approved.

The district will host a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to vote again on the Maplewood Transportation Center proposal. The meeting will be in the band room at the Cary Jr. High School, 2109 Crystal Lake Road.

District 26 has tried to sell the former elementary school multiple times. Most recently, a pitch last year to create more than 250 rental units at the site fell through. The site also is within the downtown tax increment financing district that the Cary Village Board approved in August.

The Village Board is considering a new road aimed at increasing accessibility to downtown Cary. The proposed project, called the Maplewood Extension Project, would extend Industrial Drive and run from Cary Algonquin Road to High Road.

It would run parallel to Route 14 and south of the train tracks, which would cut into District 26′s current plan for the Maplewood Transportation Center.

If the village’s plan goes through, changes would have to be made to the transportation center plan, David Shepherd, District 26 director of finance and operations, said at a previous meeting.

White said in a phone interview that he would like to see the transportation center plan move forward despite the recent TIF approval.

“We’re always open to collaborating and we look forward to collaboration with the village,” he said.

The Maplewood Transportation Plan has met opposition from Cary-Grove Youth Baseball and Softball organizers. The plan would remove the organization’s concession stand, storage shed and a baseball field.

“Aside from the financial and logistical challenges of losing access to Maplewood present, the loss of community may be the hardest thing to overcome,” Dave King, Cary-Grove Youth Baseball and Softball vice president, said in a news release.

Bob Johnson, Cary-Grove Youth Baseball and Softball president, said the organization will adapt and continue to work with the school district if the transportation center plan passes.

“My membership would just appreciate being acknowledged and included,” he said.

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