Nursing university gets permit to move here
Frontier Nursing University was approved for a conditional-use permit on Monday night, which will allow the institution to move its operations to Versailles. The nonprofit university has an agreement with the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children & Youth to purchase its 67-acre campus at 2050 Lexington Road and an adjacent 150-acre golf course property (being leased to The Brook) at 2260 Lexington Road. "We're looking not to change it," Michael Steinmetz, vice president of finance for Frontier Nursing University, told Board of Adjustment (BOA) members at Monday's hearing. "We're looking to use the existing buildings that are there" on campus. Frontier Nursing University (FNU) may need to tear down an aging building or two, but does not anticipate building any new facilities in the near future, according to Steinmetz. He said the 92,000 square-feet of available building space nearly doubles the space currently being used for FNU's operations. The Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children & Youth has purchased 36 acres in Jessamine County, where it's building new facilities to better meet the needs of the youth being served by its programs. President Randy Coy said he hopes construction on an administrative/educational building will begin by the end of July. "We're very excited about this," Coy told BOA members. "And we really couldn't have asked for a greater partnership for someone to purchase this property than Frontier Nursing. We think it's been a win-win for everybody." Frontier Nursing University has over 1,700 students and more than 180 employees. About 75 or 80 of its faculty and staff will work on the Versailles campus, Steinmetz said. He said the average age of students in FNU's graduate programs - nurse midwifery and nurse practitioner - is 35. Students in FNU's distance-learning program will come to the Versailles campus for orientation before returning home to do coursework, and then come back to Versailles for a week of clinical on-campus simulations. So those visitors will eat and shop locally, said Steinmetz. When questioned about the future of the golf course property, Steinmetz said the current operator of The Brook has expressed an interest in continuing to manage the golf course. Multiple other operators have also shown interest in managing a golf course if the current operator opts out, he added. The conditional-use permit granted to Frontier Nursing University was approved 3 to 0. Monday's BOA meeting was chaired by Vice Chair David Prewitt in the absence of Chair Tim Turney. Board member Al Schooler was also absent. Private cabin for rent The BOA unanimously approved a conditional-use permit that allows Mike and Amy Perry to rent a cabin on their Elkhorn Ridge Farm property at 1334 Georgetown Road, one mile north of I-64. A private cabin on the farm will be rented on weekends to small groups of no more than six people. Those visitors will have access to South Elkhorn Creek for recreational activities. No hunting or gun use will be allowed at the private camp to ensure the safety of nearby horses and cattle. Also, the cabin will not be rented for large events. "We're very excited about this," Amy Perry told BOA members. In addition to supplementing her family's income, a private cabin will give visitors a place to stay in the Midway area, she said. Horse fence The commission approved a 12-inch variance allowing a 54-inch-high, four-board horse fence to be located along Huntertown Road and fronting residential properties in the Edmonds Cross neighborhood. Many neighboring properties already have horse fences along Huntertown Road, according to a staff report provided to BOA members. Swimming pool The BOA approved a 25-foot variance so John and Susan Higdon can build an in-ground pool in the side yard of their corner lot at 7025 Arbor Meadow Way.