ROCK HILL — York Technical College will have more room to grow over the next 10 years after the Rock Hill City Council initially approved on Monday night the schools request for a planned educational development district.
The development district paves the way for the college to undertake several capital improvement projects on undeveloped land surrounding the Anderson Road campus.
Some parts of York Techs plans are conceptual, officials said. But, so far, it looks like a real good plan, Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said.
Echols congratulated York Tech on its plans and said the colleges improvements will benefit the community.
One resident who lives close to the campus raised two concerns Monday night. Tom Matthews, who lives in the Woodvale subdivision close to York Techs southern border, said he would like the college to consider energy facilities other than a central plant to serve the campus.
As part of the colleges 20-year master plan associated with the planned educational development district, York Tech is considering building an energy plant possibly on land it owns near Matthews subdivision. Matthews said hed prefer the college to build smaller heating and cooling facilities that serve individual buildings, as opposed to a larger, single facility that could create noise pollution for nearby homes.
Earlier this month, in response to Matthews concern, Rock Hill Planning Commission members agreed to review any future energy plant plans separate from York Techs existing development plans. That process, city officials said, will give people a chance to voice concerns or ask questions.
On Monday, Leah Youngblood, a senior planner for the city, told council members that York Tech does not yet have specific plans for a central energy plant.
Matthews also is concerned, he said, about a planned campus expansion that could affect the surrounding area during periods of heavy rain. Rock Hill engineers have reviewed the plan, Youngblood said, and city officials believe there is no outstanding concern about stormwater runoff or retention associated with York Techs building plans.
In general, Matthews said, hes in favor of York Tech expanding its buildings and improving its campus.
All I want is discussion and answers, he said. They may have good answers. They may have a good plan.
York Tech started public discussion of developing a new master plan around 2007. The long-range plan could call for up to $100 million in gradual investment to existing buildings and new construction.
Part of the plan includes a new Enterprise Campus, attached to York Techs main campus, that will serve collaborative partnerships between faculty and researchers and private businesses. Other proposed additions include adding a new quad or event lawn, doubling the librarys square footage and revamping the campus main entrance.
A major part of the colleges planned upgrades is a road reconfiguration that will create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and new signs aimed at helping first-time visitors to find their way around campus.
Council members also initially approved an annexation request on Monday that would bring York Techs entire 120-acre campus into Rock Hills city limits. Currently, some college-owned properties are located outside city limits, in York County.
Anna Douglas • 803-329-4068