By a unanimous vote, Buckhead's Neighborhood Planning Unit A Tuesday night approved plan to build a new upper school.
It took only a short presentation from Pace, to address a few of the NPU's outstanding questions, to win the vote for recommendation of the plan. NPU members had previously asked the school to clarify its plan for tree planting and drainage.
Now the plan for a new building moves to the city's Zoning Review Board and Board of Zoning Adjustment. If successful in both places, the plan could come before Atlanta City Council as early as this May. If Pace gets support there, the school plans to start construction in May 2013 and finish by July 2014.
During construction, the upper school will meet in trailers.
"One hundred percent of the neighbors have signed (agreement letters) except two people who are unreachable," Pace Headmaster Fred Assaf told the NPU.
The new building at 966 West Paces Ferry Road will simply replace the old upper school; Pace's total population is set to remain the same, now about 1,000 students, including the lower school.
A total 69 trees will be removed and 120 planted. The school will also gain 49 parking spaces.
As for the common flash floods on surrounding roads, the school pointed out that it's the city's job to maintain the area's drains and ditches, but Pace facilities director Dave Fortier also pledged that the school itself "will keep these structures as clean as possible."
NPU-A Chair Brink Dickerson recused himself from both Pace's presentation and the vote, as his law firm, Troutman Sanders, represents the school.