Trinity Baptist Church pastor and school administrator Robert McIlwaine in a photo from 2018. OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
Trinity Baptist Church and its adjacent private school sit on a 50-acre parcel of mostly open space.
In filings with the Williston Planning and Zoning Department earlier this month, the school has proposed subdividing the land into two lots, building a 58-unit condominium development on 20 acres on the east side of the property and retaining about 30 acres where a new indoor gym and classrooms would be built, as well as five units of staff housing.
Pastor and school administrator Rob McIlwaine said the plan is to have the housing subdivision help finance the new school facilities. The new gym and classrooms would handle expected future enrollment growth, and the staff housing would be a draw for recruiting teachers, he said.
“We’re looking for ways to be able to accomplish a multi-purpose building … and we’re also looking for ways to provide housing for teachers,” said McIlwaine. “Right now it’s hard for me to recruit teachers to come to Vermont because our cost of living here — mortgage and rent — is so high.”
The proposals are up for preliminary review at the Nov. 23 meeting of the Williston Development Review Board.
— Jason Starr