Changes are afoot for the site of the former Lee School building at 1002 N. Walnut in Sherman after 903 Brewers received a specific use permit and site plan approval Tuesday night.

The Sherman Planning and Zoning Board approved a specific use permit and site plan that will allow a brewery and a retail event center at that location. The plan presented to the commission calls for the construction of a one-story metal brewery and grain silo next to it. The existing three-story building will be renovated for retail and an event center.

David Baca said the plan is to make the structures on the property blend in with the residential neighborhood that surrounds it on three sides. He said it is designed to be a place that people can go and hang out for the afternoon and or the evening and feel like they are in downtown. He said the plan calls for 91 parking places, but the owners are anxious not to pave the whole site. He said they plan to accomplish that by using city parking lots in downtown and offering free shuttle buses back and forth to events at the brewery.

“I think this is a big deal for the city of Sherman,” Bacca told the board. “It’s in a prominent location at the former Lee Elementary School, which sets on a precipice overlooking Highway 75, and I think it’s a great location for the brewery.”

He said they still working through what exactly to put in the buildings but are surethey want some tasting rooms but there may also be some sort of meeting rooms as well.

P&Z Chairman Clay Mahone said, “It will be nice to not have that building empty,” and others agreed.

One such person was Gary Gaines who lives in the neighborhood. She said the building has been empty for a long time and has posed a security threat.

“It will make us feel a lot (more) secure,” she said of the new business in the location.

Herald Democrat Managing Editor William C. Wadsack contributed to this report.