John Burroughs School gets Ladue's approval for 3-story building, expanded enrollment

LADUE • The City Council here gave final approval on Monday to allowing John Burroughs School to demolish library and science buildings and replace them with a $25 million science, technology and research building.

The special use permit amendment and master site plan revision approval also lets the school have an enrollment increase, to 650 students from the current 600.

Founded in 1923, the private preparatory school for students in grades 7 to 12 is at 755 South Price Road.

At a public hearing on Monday, Head of School Andy Abbott said plans are to demolish the Stamper Library and Gaylord science buildings — with a total of 20,300 square feet — and, in their place, build the science, technology and research building, which will total 28,146 square feet.

Construction is set to start in March and be completed as early as fall 2018, Abbott said.

Plans for the new three-story building required a height variance to allow it to be as tall as 64 feet, Abbott said. The alternative to a higher building would have been to double the footprint, requiring removal of green space and increasing storm water runoff, he said.

Abbott said the current enrollment cap of 600 students was established in 1985. “At that time, the Burroughs campus consisted of about 26 acres — we now have about 49 acres,” he said.

“Since then, the amount of parking on the campus in our two lots has nearly doubled, we’ve opened a second campus entrance, on Clayton Road, and the square footage of our buildings has increased by 30 percent.”

Abbott said there are no immediate plans to have as many as 650 students. “But we want the flexibility to be able to increase the number incrementally,” he said.