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Environment center gets commission's full backing

The school district's long-stalled environmental center planned for along the Weeki Wachee River gained new momentum late last week when the Weeki Wachee City Commission approved the project.

Commission lawyer Joe Mason wrote a letter to School Board attorney Karen Gaffney on Thursday to give the district permission to begin construction of the center immediately, provided that the district obtains all required permits and submits them to the city.

Mason wrote that the city had been revising its zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan, an effort that could take a year to complete. But because the school district needed to move ahead to protect its existing contract price, the commission agreed Thursday to approve the $750,000 project in advance of finishing its plans, Mason stated.

School officials had been trying to resolve the zoning issue for several months. They had hoped to have the center open this month.