Campus News

Andover project stalls amid legal hoops

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Construction at Butler’s 5000 building in Andover begins steadily. Despite some court issues with the City of Andover, the construction of Butler’s new building is still in store. Maya Hall

Caelin Bragg
Lantern Staff

Butler Community College’s Andover project has reached a standstill as it is allowed to begin construction on the 5000 building but has not received permission to build its planned facilities and management building.

Butler’s Board of Trustees filed for declaratory action against the City of Andover in May earlier this year, asking the courts to allow the college to begin work on its facilities and management building without being subjected to Andover’s requirement that the college pay for road construction and improvements on East 13th Street, where the 5000 building is located.

The action was ruled in favor of the City of Andover in July; however, the court said, according to Butler President Kim Krull, Andover had to “put into writing to the college the reason [they’re] denying the building permit, … [and they] also had to put into writing to the college, the fees that [they think the college hasn’t] paid,” Krull said she and the college believed the only fees they had yet to pay were paid at the end of the process, at the same time the building permit is granted.

“So even though they dismissed the declaratory judgment and supported that motion to dismiss, we really felt like it was still positive,” Krull said. “We got some information and [the judge] clarified for them what they had to do.”

The City of Andover believed the original declaratory action filed by the college was “wrongful” and “premature,” according to City Administrator Mark Detter.

“City code requires all developers to follow established platting and development requirements, which the college did not follow,” Detter said. “At the time of the lawsuit being filed and dismissed, the college had only submitted an application for a building permit relative to remodel work to their existing building.”

Butler is remodeling its 5000 building because of the looming deadline set by Andover High School. The high school is going through renovations, and Butler will no longer have classes or services in its 6000 building attached to the high school past the summer of 2020, and is relocating those services to its 5000 building.

“As of now, [Butler] is intending to leave Andover High School in May of 2020,” Terry Rombeck, director of communication for Andover Public Schools, said. “Our new [Andover High School] is scheduled to be completed around the end of the 2019-20 school year, so that is the earliest we could begin moving into the new school and eventually raze the majority of the old school. So that timeline for [Butler] leaving in May of 2020 has no impact on our plans at this time. We will continue to be in close contact with [Butler] and the City of Andover in the coming months.”

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