USD 383 officials looking at 33acres in Pott County as possible elementary facility

By Bryan Richardson

USD 383 is thinking about buying 33 acres in Pottawatomie County that could become the site of a future elementary school. School board members gave initial acceptance of the terms of a contract during their meeting Wednesday.

The owners are Richard Kiner, trustee of the Kiner Residual Trust; Theresa H. Jones, trustee of the Jones Family 1994 Trust; and Kathleen Senn.

The land is north of U.S. 24, along Lake Elbo Road, near the eastern edge of the school district boundary. The estimated price is $247,500 based on $7,500 per acre. Every year, the school board sets aside $1 million in capital outlay money for land acquisition.

Associate Supt. Bob Seymour said the purchase has been in the works for a while. “We felt it would be a good location for a facility in the future,” he said.

That facility could be an elementary school, given growth in that area of Pottawatomie County. The school board has discussed the need for a new elementary school, citing concerns about continued enrollment growth.

In 2011, the board commissioned a feasibility study about building an elementary school on district-owned property in the Miller Ranch area. But BG Consultants representatives said it would be difficult and more expensive to build a school on that property, which sits hillside with an elevation drop of 60 to 80 feet.

The district will now have the consultant firm survey the potential new property in Pottawatomie County. According to the contract, USD 383 has until Aug. 1 to inspect the property to determine its usefulness for school construction purposes.

The board will vote July 24 on final approval. The deal would be contingent on a judgment regarding the land’s usability.

The contract stipulates that the parties close the transaction no later than Sept. 2.

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