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Church and school request to join city, property will be new school site

After years of planning and preparation, North Valley Friends Church and Veritas School have submitted an application to annex their combined 24 acres into what would become the city of Newberg's northernmost point.

The annexation request appears to be driven by Veritas School's plan to build its new facility on about five acres of the land at corner of North College Street and Bell Road, having recently paid to bring city utilities north along College Street.

The school recently gained approval from the city to recover some costs of installing those water and wastewater utilities from some neighboring properties if the owners tap into them.

The planning department posted the application last week for public review and comment ahead of a public hearing on the proposed annexation before the planning commission next month.

The application gives few details on Veritas School's long-term plans for the property and school staff did not return a request for comment by press time Tuesday morning.

The school's website indicates that the plan has been in the works since 2005, when the school developed a master plan for the new facility and launched a fundraising effort.

The plan on the school's website details the next phase as construction of a 21,000- square-foot multipurpose building that would include a gym, cafeteria, kitchen, library and other facilities, while bringing the school's existing modular units to that new site. The next phase would also include new athletic fields, a playground area and parking.

The architectural plans calls for a final 54,000-square-foot building in the subsequent "Phase III," but the website is vague on exactly what that phase would include.

The annexation request is scheduled to go before the planning commission for a public hearing at 7 p.m. June 8 at the Public Safety Building, 401 E. Third St. Residents can submit comments on the proposal to the city until noon June 5. More information is available at http://bit.ly/2pDjUqn.

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