Ephrata Twp. stock

When: Ephrata Township Supervisors meeting, Feb. 2.

What happened: The township Board of Supervisors helped pave the way for a new, larger building for Ephrata Mennonite School by approving waivers  for its final subdivision and land development plan. The new school will be built  at 650 Stevens Road. No timeline was given for the start of construction.

Details: The new school building is expected to have a maximum capacity of 390 students, including 195 elementary students and 195 secondary students. The project’s total building footprint will be about 66,112 square feet including a two-story school,  a gymnasium that could accommodate 1,000 people for assemblies and special programs and a future two-story expansion. The campus will have 302 parking spaces, a greenhouse, a playground and athletic fields, including two soccer fields and a softball field.

Background: Founded more than 70 years ago, Ephrata Mennonite School, 598 Stevens Road, is a K-12 private school with an enrollment of  290 students. The school offers “a high-quality Christian education to children in northern Lancaster County,” said Todd Shoaf of Pioneer Management LLC in his presentation to the supervisors. The school is in the midst of fundraising effort toward $12 million for the new building, and is halfway to its goal, said Ephrata Mennonite Principal Joshua Good after the meeting.

Other business: Owners of 118 acres of farmland in the township informed township officials of land they would like  to preserve. The land consists of four tracts — three owned by David and Florence Harnish and one tract co-owned by the Harnishes and Barry and Elaine Burkholder. The four tracts are located between Mohler Church Road and Valley View Drive and the Harnish-Burkholder land also borders farmland to the north and east. If the Harnishes and Burkholders agree to preserve all four parcels of land, the supervisors will send a letter of approval to the Lancaster Farmland Trust, Township Manager Steve Sawyer said.

Traffic matters: A speed study will be conducted by the state Department of Transportation in response to a letter from the supervisors requesting a lower speed limit for Meadow Valley Road between Route 272 and the Fieldcrest development. The study will determine if a lower speed is needed. The supervisors have also requested a safety study by PennDOT regarding the intersection of Hahnstown Road and Glenwood Drive.

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