Mobile Christian School cleared a big hurdle Thursday afternoon in its attempt to build a new elementary school building.

The Mobile Planning Commission approved the school’s planned unit development application, which allows board members to move forward on the 22,700 square-foot facility on the school’s existing campus on Cottage Hill Road.

The new facility would both allow the school to consolidate its elementary campus into one building and expand its capacity, board member and engineer Scott Hardy said after the meeting.

“The new building allows us to increase the elementary campus’ capability,” he said. “It would put all the elementary students in one building.”

With the approval, board members hope to break ground on the new facility in the spring with construction starting soon after. The new building could open as early as the fall of 2019.
“We’re excited about it,” board member Mark Erwin said. “This is huge for us.”

The elementary school currently houses 230 students in three seperate buildings on the campus, Headmaster David Pahman said. The new facility will be able to hold 280 students. The addition will also allow the school to create a new middle school facility.

The school is currently in the process of raising funds for the addition, Erwin said. They are $1.6 million into a roughly $2.5 million to $3 million campaign.

For residents who travel Cottage Hill regularly, Hardy said there are plans to help move traffic more efficiently around the school so as to not add to traffic complaints.

In other business, the Planning Commission approved a rezoning and a planned unit development to make way for the Meridian at the Port luxury apartment complex on Water Street. The rezoning, which was requesting by Bristol Mobile Partners LLC, out of Tennessee, would change the zoning from light industrial to general business district. The rezoning will go to the City Council for final approval.