School conversion in the works

Plans to convert a school building at 28th Street and West Chestnut Avenue into a chancery and administrative offices are generally consistent with countywide planning, the Blair County Planning Commission decided.

The Our Lady of Lourdes office building development plan calls for site improvements at the site, owned by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Proposed improvements include alterations to the existing parking lot, landscaped areas and new sidewalks. A playground area will be removed as well as portions of the existing paved parking lot.

The size of the proposed parking spaces will be 9 feet wide by 18 feet long, which is smaller than the required 9 feet by 19 feet under Altoona’s code, said Jamie L. Klink, community planner.

If possible, the developer should provide spaces that comply with Altoona’s requirements, but commission members do not oppose the proposed dimensions based on the proposed size and an existing non-conformity, Klink said.

Commission members also recommend the developer installs bicycle parking.

Various landscaping is shown on the plan drawings, but commission members recommend that the developer includes all landscaping required under Altoona’s code, including shrubbery to screen headlight glare and street trees, Klink said.