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Fayetteville planners weigh allowing school in historic home

Posted February 9

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— The battle over a private school moving to an antebellum home in Fayetteville's Haymount neighborhood went before the city Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

Christy Pettit has requested a special-use permit to put a middle school in the historic home on Morganton Road. Pettit owns First Impressions Academy on Raeford Road, which has about 100 preschool and elementary school students.

People who live near the home have complained about the potential of increased traffic through the area, but Pettit said such concerns are unfounded.

"There are a lot of concerns that are rumors or really aren't concerns at all," she said. "I think 90 percent of the schools in Fayetteville are in people's backyards."

Only 90 students would attend the middle school, and no school buses will be used. Parents at the elementary school said drop-offs and pick-ups run smoothly at First Impressions.

"Everybody lines up, and we grab our kids and move on," parent Lisa Roby said.

Pettit said she plans to improve the property and request it be rezoned historic, and she wants to incorporate its history into the middle school curriculum.

"I know people more than they know me, and I just wish they would give us a chance because we really do have a lot to offer," she said.

The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the Fayetteville City Council, which has the final say over whether the special-use permit is granted.

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