Jones-Gordon School expected to go before Town Council in August

The vacant Tesseract school site at Tatum Boulevard and Doubletree Ranch Road in Paradise Valley is set to get new life and improvements thanks to a unanimous vote by the Paradise Valley Planning Commission on July 11 to amend the site’s existing conditions of use.

Their vote approves a new cap of 160 total students, including the addition of up to 60 upper-grade students. The site is currently approved for a total of 340 students, preschool through eighth grade. Without the stipulations set forth by the applicant, the student maximum of 340 would remain in effect.

Now located in north Scottsdale, the Jones-Gordon School is aiming to open at the Paradise Valley campus for the new school year on Aug. 14, according to a press release.

A renowned private school with tuition upwards of $25,000 per year, it serves high potential students from first grade through high school who have learning differences, such as twice exceptionality/giftedness, attention deficit disorder, and dyslexia.

The school will also be making well-received improvements to the lighting, landscaping, and signage of the tired property, the press release stated.

The relocation is being made possible by the generosity of Paradise Valley residents Chuck and Anita Theisen, owners of Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale. They recently purchased the site and have a son who attends Jones-Gordon.

No one spoke in opposition to the school’s request before the Planning Commission while nearly 20 people spoke in support.  Those voices included three adjacent neighbors.

Beginning the school year at the new location in August — as opposed to a disruptive move in October – is an obvious benefit to the students. As such, Jones-Gordon is taking the unusual step of appealing the Planning Commission’s decision to the Town Council, the press release stated.

As a result, the matter will likely be heard at the Town Council’s Aug. 8 meeting.

Were the school, via its attorney and town resident John Berry, not to take this step, a potential resident appeal could delay final approvals until well into the school year.

“Paradise Valley is a best-in-class community, and last night’s hearing before the Planning Commission showed why.  Working together with community leaders such as Councilman Mark Stanton and the site’s neighbors, we were able to achieve exemplary collaboration and gain support for a school that is worthy of the community and makes such a difference in the lives of our students and their families,” said Dana Herzberg, founder of the Jones-Gordon School, in the press release.

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