A new and unique educational tenant at Holly Hill Mall has prompted the mall’s management to seek a zoning designation that would accommodate the new venture.
The planning board heard Monday night from mall manager Teri Jones and Dominque Burgess, of Gibsonville, seeking a rezoning for the mall to change the city’s zoning to allow for “schools (academic); nurseries, kindergartens, elementary, secondary, public or private.”
Burgess is the proprietor of Burbrella Learning Academy which is planning to rent about 3,750 square feet at the mall in a former location for Foot Locker and subsequently the Spin Zone.
About 25 elementary-age students would attend the school, which was characterized as a hybrid of home school and a private school.
In response to questions from planning board members, concerned about the safety of young children entering the mall, Burgess assured, “No children will be walking by themselves – ever,” she said. They will be met by staff at the drop-off point, or parents will escort them to the site.
Burgess and Jones also pointed out that the school will start about 8:30, but that most businesses do not open until 10:00 or 11:00.
There will be no food preparation on the premises; parents will send food, she described.
Burgess said her organization operates similar schools in New York City (Brooklyn) and Texas.
The planning board approved the rezoning designation, unanimously, 6-0, after board member Charlie Beasley recused himself when he realized during the discussion that his wife has been consulting with Burgess about the operation of the academy.