Archive for Thursday, August 4, 2005

District rounds out bond issue details

Board chooses elementary school site

August 4, 2005

During a leadership seminar at Kansas University last week, Basehor-Linwood School District administrators and board members established criteria for an undetermined site for a new elementary school.

A few days later, they found their desired location. And, fortunately for the school district and its patrons, they already own the property.

At a work session Monday, school board members unanimously approved selecting 15 acres of land just west of the high school football field as the site for a proposed new elementary school.

School officials said eight to 10 tracts of land were considered.

The proposed elementary school will cost $6.9 million. It is constitutes roughly 30 percent of a $22.9 million bond issue package that voters will decide on Nov. 1.

"The board looked at a number of properties as possible locations for the new elementary school," School Board president Kerry Mueller said. "When it came down to it, this property made the most sense because it met all the criteria we had previously established and we already owned it. This is the most fiscally responsible (plan) for the patrons of the district."

The criteria set forth by school officials include:

  • Its proximity to several residential developments.
  • Utilities are nearby.
  • Hard-surfaced roads near the site provide two ways in and out.
  • The land is located within the targeted population center.

The decision to build on land already owned by the district also falls in line with popular public opinion. According to responses from a survey sent out last winter, many patrons favored saving money by building on school district property.

"We received several comments back indicating we should use our current district-owned property for new school buildings," Mueller said.

"We truly were listening to what the taxpayers and survey respondents were saying," superintendent Jill Hackett said.

The proposed elementary school will entail 46,465 square feet. It will contain three classrooms apiece for grades Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Students living between the south side of Leavenworth Road and the north side of U.S. Highway 24/40 will attend the new elementary school, should it receive voter approval in November. The boundaries for Basehor Elementary School will change; students living between the north side of Leavenworth Road and the school district's northern boundary line will attend BES.

The boundaries for Glenwood Ridge and Linwood elementary schools will remain the same.

According to school district research, 3,070 homes are approved for building and more than 1,050 additional homes are in the planning stage.

Using a 0.43 students per home formula, the district could see an infusion of 1,320 new students in coming years.

The new elementary school site lies within the center of that expected population boom, school officials said.

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