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Group changes strategy in quest for building

Neighbors have opposed the Independent Day School's plans to build a preschool and daycare center.

Independent Day School is reevaluating plans to build a preschool and daycare center on Orange Grove Drive in light of community opposition.

IDS recently withdrew its special use application for the 5,000-square-foot facility, but indicated it would refile the request through the rezoning process.

Land use representative Fritz Archerd would not comment on why the school has changed its strategy or how the new approach might be more effective. IDS headmaster Joyce Swarzman did not return telephone messages.

Homeowners in Original Carrollwood expect to fight the project at public hearings.

"We definitely plan to strenuously oppose it," said Betsy Hapner, president of the Carrollwood Civic Association, adding that traffic on Orange Grove Drive will get worse when the luxury Townhomes at Bayfair on Lake Ellen are finished.

The town home project is being built at Orange Grove Drive and Stall Road.

"The last thing we want to do is add 250 to 300 more cars a day (from IDS) to the traffic and there is no way to expand Orange Grove Drive because of Sweet Water Creek," Hapner said. "Not that anybody wants to make Orange Grove four lanes, but there is no way to do it."

Residents have for years complained about the traffic congestion on Orange Grove Drive during drop off and pickup times at IDS.

The 31-year-old school wants to build the preschool and daycare on about 1{ acres across the street from the existing school at 12015 Orange Grove Drive. The proposed project would be on land that is now zoned for residential use.

IDS said the proposed daycare and preschool will accommodate up to 200 children, from newborns to kindergarteners.

About nine months ago, the school broke ground on a new middle school campus also across the street on Orange Grove Drive. Grades six through eight will be relocated in those two buildings which will officially open in October.

_ To reach Tim Grant call 226-3471, or e-mail him at grantsptimes.com.

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