Brittan Schnell, a managing partner with Whitehouse Park LLC, is in the process of opening up a new extreme sports school in Lincoln County.
The school, Whitehouse Extreme Sports Park, would service student-athletes who specialize in extreme sports, depending on Schnell. He said students in sixth grade through college would be welcome to attend the school. The school will partner with Liberty University for educational purposes.
“I’ve got kids from all over the country that can’t wait to get here,” said Schnell in an interview with WBTV Monday.
The school would be placed on 101 acres of property located at 288 Whitehouse Drive in Lincoln County, according to Lincoln County Board of Commissioners agenda materials. The documents state that the property would house a school, dormitory, motocross and BMX tracks, an indoor sports area, swimming and diving pools, recreational vehicle spaces, a hall for special events and meetings, and space for light manufacturing, storage, and offices.
“We saw an opportunity with these extreme sports athletes that they would be able to build a foundation in their life much beyond a high school diploma,” Schnell explained.
The new school is one item on the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Cecelia Martin, Chair of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, said the elected leaders were re-opening the public hearing regarding the topic Monday. However, not everyone in the area is excited about the new school.
Clint Hennessee, a member of the Concerned Citizens of Hickory Grove, said the facility will be visible from his property along Park Circle. He worries that the sound of motocross racing will disturb his peaceful neighborhood.
“We’re gonna hear that consistently ringing in our ears,” said Hennessee.
He admits that when he first heard about the school he thought it seemed like a good idea. He said he changed his mind when considering the noise that would be created by the racing.
“That sound absolutely constitutes a nuisance,” said Hennessee. “This is a very peaceful and quiet area.”
Schnell said that sound tests were conducted with some of the bikes on the property. He said he doesn’t think the noise would be a disturbance for neighbors in the area.
Hennessee wishes elected leaders choose not to move forward with the project, and Schnell will consider establishing the school in another location.
“What he has is a very great idea, he’s just in the wrong area,” said Hennessee.
Before the project can move forward, public officials need to approve a zoning request to re-classify the property as ‘Planned Development Mixed Use’. Now it is labeled ‘General Industrial’.